(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT) [Order this photo]
Monrovia was made to work for every bit of offense they found, but the ability to knock down one or two more shots each quarter led the hosts to a 55-38 win.
The Bulldogs, only playing their second home game of the entire 2012-13 season, featured the best scoring offense in the WCC but found life difficult against North Putnam.
The Cougar defense forced the hosts into awkward looks for much of the first and second quarters and Monrovia struggled to get looks in their half-court offense.
When the Bulldogs did get points, they often forced North Putnam turnovers and Monrovia's 10-point halftime lead could directly be tied to steals.
When the Cougars were able to get past the pressure from the hosts, shots were simply not falling.
Trailing 16-9 after one quarter and 28-18 at halftime, North Putnam was still within shouting distance of the WCC leaders.
But the shots refused to fall in the second half as well, and as Monrovia continued to get turnovers and more points from them, the Cougars' chances of getting their first WCC win faded away.
Outscored 17-10 in the third period, North Putnam held Monrovia in check during the final frame but the lack of offense was the major difference as the Cougars fell to 0-2 in the WCC.
North Putnam head coach Nathan Martindale said that the defense did exactly what he hoped they would against Monrovia.
"I thought, in terms of our defensive effort, our defense was tremendous. The guys did a good job on [Chase] Casteel. We know what kind of player he is and he's going to get his points," Martindale said.
"They have so many scorers around him and that's what makes it tough. We couldn't key in on one thing."
North Putnam's offense struggled, however, as Martindale said the squad still is not sure of what to do at times.
"Guys didn't react to situations on the offensive end. Anything we tried to do offensively they took us out of. They pressured the ball hard and we had too many turnovers," Martindale said.
"We didn't make a concerted effort to get the ball in the post. We struggled getting into the offense. We ran a lot of sets to get guys going but we could never get into a groove.
"You have to give Monrovia credit. That might be one of the best Monrovia squads they've had since I've been here," Martindale added.
"They have five guys who can score but also five guys who do a good job on the defensive end as well. They pressurized our guards because that took us out of what we wanted to do."
North Putnam will get a chance to get back to winning was with a trip to Fountain Central Saturday and Martindale said that if the offense finds some rhythm, the squad would be in good shape.
"We have to focus in on what we're good at on offense. We know what we're good at but we're not good at doing it yet," Martindale said.
"Defensively, we need to do the exact same thing. We need to play on that end the way we played tonight. Our defense kept us in the game when the offense was stagnant."
"I thought we did a nice job on defense. They hit tough shots and if we're giving up something, that's what we would want to give up," Martindale added.
"Our guys need to know what to do to get things going. Once we figure out who we are and what we need to do and as long as everyone stays together, we'll figure this thing out."
North Putnam 9 9 10 10 -- 38
Monrovia 15 13 17 10 -- 55
North Putnam :15-50 FG, 1-11 3-FG, 7-12 FT Brewer 10, Nauert 9, Haste 7, Hazelgrove 6, Beaman 4, Flynn 2.
Monrovia : 23-54 FG, 3-7 3-FG, 6-13 FT Casteel 15, Fite 14, Bolton 9, Baker 6, Hale 3, Baker 2, Benge 2, Shover 2, Wright 2.
North Putnam 34 (13); Monrovia 21 (5)
North Putnam 5; Monrovia 10
North Putnam 1; Monrovia 4
North Putnam 21; Monrovia 10
North Putnam 10; Monrovia 14