(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT)
Both boys' squads landed big hits with baskets and some physical play that saw the Eagles leading the host Mustangs 24-23 at halftime.
But a second half where the whistles became quicker and the turnovers became more abundant derailed the visitors as Edgewood claimed a 60-43 win.
The opening 20 seconds of the game provided some pained expression for South Putnam fans after Sawyer Arnold was found on the ground in pain.
By the time the junior came back on the floor, the Eagles, after leading 8-4, were down 11-8 after a seven point swing by Edgewood.
Arnold hit a three to close the quarter followed by a second to open the next period to give South Putnam a 14-11 lead.
The Mustangs responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead at 19-14 but another pair of Arnold threes gave the Eagles a 22-19 lead with two minutes to go in the half.
Having been locked into a physical rumble at times with Edgewood, South Putnam was able to take the lead heading into halftime on another Arnold basket.
When the two squads emerged from halftime, however, the game only favored one team.
Edgewood clogged Eagle passing lanes and punished the visitors with multiple steals and layups in a 20-6 third quarter that knocked South Putnam out of the contest.
While points piled up for the Mustangs, fouls piled up for the Eagles and as the lineup continued to be reshuffled, the visitors never found their first half rhythm as they crashed out to the hosts by 17 points.
South Putnam head coach Troy Burgess said that while the first half was good, the squad and he did not get things right in the second half.
"We shot the ball well in the first half, particularly Sawyer Arnold. We were able to move the ball and play inside-out. Defensively, I thought we played pretty well in the first half," Burgess said. "We came out in the second half and just were not able to execute. Coaches make adjustments at halftime and obviously coach [Jeff] Farmer outcoached coach Burgess."
"He made adjustments that worked well for his team. The adjustments I made did not work well. Farmer saw something and got his kids to execute and he outcoached me at half," Burgess added. "When a team comes out in the second half, what the coaches have talked about takes some affect and coach Farmer won that battle."
Burgess said that, with Greencastle next, the squad needs to get back to the defensive effort it displayed before the break.
"What we did well early on was play defense. We got on them early and went after them. That's how we won the county tourney, by playing well on the defensive end," Burgess said. "We've got to regain that. We've got to go back to the drawing board and defend people.
"We've got to take pride in defending people and that's something we have not done a very good job of since we've been back from the break.
"I've got to put an emphasis on that as we go through practice this week. If we're going to compete with Green- castle, we've got to go out and defend," Burgess added.
"They're going to want a piece of us. They're playing hard and they're playing better over there.
"Greencastle is going to want a little revenge so we'd better be ready to play."
South Putnam 11 13 6 13 -- 43
Edgewood 11 12 20 17 -- 60
South Putnam -- Arnold 14, R. Chestnut 8, Bumgardner 8, Franklin 8, Long 4, Vittetow 3.
Edgewood -- Newman 15, Selburg 15, Black 14, D. Driver 10, Bowman 6.