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Cougars place third at Speedway girls' basketball tourney

Monday, December 31, 2012

(Photo)
North Putnam junior point guard Bethany Wiatt rips the ball away from Arlington freshman Briella Tomlinson (33), recording one of her game-high nine steals. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN ) [Order this photo]
SPEEDWAY -- Two teams entered the consolation game at the 2012 Speedway girls' basketball tournament looking to snap a burdensome losing streak.

North Putnam was able to do just that, beating Indianapolis Arlington (0-8) 67-36.

The Cougars (2-10) entered the game with a five-game losing streak. The Golden Knights made headlines a few weeks ago after suffering a 103-2 loss.

"Arlington played hard for 32 minutes," NPHS coach Curtis Lawrence said. "We let (the players) know (after the first game against Western Boone) that there are some things that we can improve on, and we were able to do that against Arlington."

NPHS began the game in attack mode, hoping out to a 13-5 lead and experimenting with full court ball pressure for the first time this season.

When it worked, the Cougars were able to get easy steals and layups. There were also signs of inexperience that allowed the Knights to leak out to the outside and race to the rim.

The Cougars led by only one (13-12) after the first quarter.

Eventually, they figured out how to use press.

NPHS closed the first half on a 16-3 run.

"We felt that, if we could apply a little bit of pressure to them, we would be able to create turnovers," Lawrence said, "which would lead to some easy baskets, which is something we haven't been able to do."

Junior point guard Bethany Wiatt seemed the most comfortable with applying full court pressure. She finished with nine steals, 11 points and three assists.

Senior Sam Lucas was the game's high-scorer, putting in 17 and adding 11 rebounds for the Cougars.

Senior Cayla Kientz added nine points, and sophomore Morgan Smith had eight.

NPHS is in the midst of its most winnable stretch of the season

with games next week against Fountain Central and Eminence.

Lawrence is hoping the new defensive strategy will help keep the momentum going.

"We really haven't played a team yet that I thought the press would be beneficial to us," he said. "When we get behind in a game, we don't have the makeup that is going be able to get us back in the game against the teams that we've played so far. We've got some teams coming up ... that I think our press is going to be beneficial to us."

The Cougars lost Saturday's opening game to Western Boone 65-18.



At Speedway
Game 1
North Putnam 5 6 2 5 -- 18
Western Boone 19 13 14 19 -- 65

Individual scoring
North Putnam: Asbell 1-5, 2-5, 4; Kientz 2-7, 0-1, 4; Wiatt 1-2, 0-1, 2; Lucas 1-4, 0-0, 2; Land 1-2, 0-0, 2; Mindiola 1-1, 0-0, 2; Smith 0-8, 1-2, 1; Clodfelter 0-2, 1-2, 1; Aynes 0-2, 0-0, 0; Pitcock 0-0, 0-0, 0; Reeves 0-0, 0-0, 0.
Western Boone: Harrison 6-16, 3-3, 15; Ramey 6-11, 0-1, 12; Climer 4-6, 0-0, 9; Vanderpool 3-8, 2-2, 8; Henderson 2-7, 1-5, 5; Mitchell 2-8, 0-0, 4; Miller 2-7, 0-0, 4; Marsh 2-11, 0-0, 4; Hole 1-1, 0-0, 2.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
NP 7-33 (0-4), 4-11, 18; WB 28-76 (1-7), 6-13, 65.

Rebounds (offensive)
NP 28 (5); WB 54 (30).

Turnovers
NP 34; WB 13.

Game 2
Indianapolis Arlington 12 3 8 13 -- 36
North Putnam 13 16 18 20 -- 67

Individual scoring
Indianapolis Arlington: Hogue 5-23, 1-2, 13; Tomlinson 4-8, 0-1, 9; Rupert 3-4, 1-1, 7; Davis 1-3, 0-0, 2; Turman 1-7, 0-0, 2; Watson 1-5, 0-0, 2; Hogens 0-1, 0-0, 0; White 0-0, 0-0, 0; Harvey 0-0, 0-0, 0.
North Putnam: Lucas 5-13, 7-10, 17; Kientz 4-6, 3-4, 11; Wiatt 3-8, 5-6, 11; Smith 2-12, 5-10, 9; Asbell 3-8, 1-4, 7; Land 2-6, 0-0, 4; Aynes 2-7, 0-0, 4; Mindiola 1-1, 0-0, 2; Clodfelter 0-3, 0-0, 0; Pitcock 0-2, 0-2, 0; Reeves 0-1, 0-0, 0.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
IA 16-52 (3-15), 2-5, 36; NP 23-66 (0-6), 21-37, 67.

Rebounds (offensive)
IA 42 (7); NP 49 (18).

Turnovers
IA 38, NP 17.



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