ROACHDALE -- It wasn't their prettiest game -- there were no highlight-reel backdoor cuts or electric blocked shots -- but the North Putnam boys' basketball team did everything it needed to on Friday to get a home win over North Vermillion, 51-44.
The Cougars had a 38-29 rebounding advan tage and turned the ball over just 11 times.
"A win's a win, and we'll take it any way we can get it," NPHS coach Nathan Martindale said. "We were able to control the glass. Any time you control the glass and the paint, you're in pretty good shape as a ballclub."
The hosts dominated in the paint against the much smaller, younger Falcons.
Senior forward Jameson Brewer finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds and senior center Jake Haste had 17 and nine.
NPHS shot nearly 50 percent (18 for 40) on its two-point field goals and had 15 offensive rebounds, six by Haste.
"We had a good game from Jake Haste, who was a able to get a little more aggressive on the offensive end, which is what we need from him," Martindale said. "JB (Brewer) came through and helped us out on some things ... He's been a double-double machine. At Western Boone he had 15 (points) and 13 (rebounds). Last night (against Turkey Run) he had 27 and 20."
For the duration of the first half, it looked as though the Cougars would be able to salt away the win simple with ball control, but the Falcons changed the tempo to a halt to start the second half.
NPHS appeared impatient at times as it continues to learn how to play with a lead.
"We're learning how to play, and I think that's the key," Martindale said. "If a team slows you up like that, especially with the lead, we're fine. On the offensive end we're not in a rush to do anything. We've still got to get to the point where we know we've got to feed the inside game, and if we don't have a good shot, we don't need to take it ... As the night progressed we got better at it, and I think as the season progresses we'll get better at it."
With the North Vermillion offense unable to get started in the first half, junior Brayden Woodard took the game into his own hands in the second.
Woodard scored 18 of his game-high 21 points after the break.
Every time it seemed the Cougars were ready to make a run, Woodard answered, either by getting to the rim for a layup or getting to the free throw line.
The Falcons cut the nine-point halftime deficit to as close as four several times, but the Cougars kept battling -- and kept feeding Haste in the post.
Junior Jordan Nauert and senior Zach Green each knocked down a pair of free throws to secure the win.
"There's still things we need to work on as a team and understand," Martindale said. "We're trying to get to the point where we establish an inside game. There was a point there in the second quarter where we started getting three-point happy again and I had to call timeout and really just kind of settle them down."
At North Putnam
North Vermillion 7 7 10 20 -- 44
North Putnam 13 10 8 20 -- 51
North Vermillion: Woodard 8-13 5-8 21, Wright 3-7 4-6 10, Zumwalt 3-10 0-1 6, Earl 0-2 4-6 4, Hollowell 1-5 0-0 3, Sams 1-2 0-0 2, Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 0-0 0-0 0.
North Putnam: Haste 8-14 1-5 17, Brewer 6-18 1-2 13, Nauert 1-5 6-7 8, Hazelgrove 1-4 2-4 4, Green 1-2 2-2 4, Beaman 1-4 0-0 3, Roberts 1-2 0-1 2, Flynn 0-0 0-0 0.
Team scoring (three-pointers)
NV 15-40 (1-11) 13-22 44, NP 19-50 (1-10) 12-21 51.
NV 29 (7), NP 38 (15).
NV 12, NP 11.