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Cougars hang with Mounties until late in 60-48 loss

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

(Photo)
North Putnam senior Jameson Brewer lines up for a shot from the block over Southmont defender Zach Dinius in the first quarter. Brewer finished with 22 points in the 60-48 loss on Tuesday.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
CRAWFORDSVILLE -- For the talented but inconsistent North Putnam boys' basketball team, it's getting closer to the time of the year when the players must finish a complete game.

Offense comes through some nights, defense others, and on Tuesday against Southmont, the Cougars got everything going at the same time.

For the first three quarters.

The host Mounties put together a run early in the fourth quarter to extend a close lead and seal their 60-48 win.

"It was a tale of a three-minute stretch," NPHS coach Nathan Martindale said. "Defensively, that was the best half of basketball that we've played in the first half. Offensively, it was the same thing."

Southmont (8-1, 2-1 Sagamore Conference) entered as a clear favorite, but North Putnam, and senior Jameson Brewer, refused to back down.

Brewer had 12 of his team's 22 points in an efficient first half, but the three-headed backcourt of Southmont (seniors Drake Cooksey and Cody Thomas, junior Devon Burton) scored all of the Mounties' 23.

The teams played slow, high-percentage basketball throughout, making skill less important than luck, and Southmont seemed to have all the luck.

In one stretch early in the third quarter, missed Mounties' shots rolled out of bounds three straight time but the offense retained possession each time.

Brewer versus the Southmont backcourt remained the theme.

Cooksey, Thomas and Burton had 15 in the third, Brewer had 10.

"Once we get some guys that are normally good shooters to start getting hot and add that to our inside game, we'll be fine," Martindale said. "We're fine in what we're doing. Our guys are locked-in to our gameplan. We're going to eventually come around on the offensive side of the basketball. There's no doubt about it."

The solid backcourt play by the Mounties finally wore the Cougars down.

Their 11-point run to start the fourth quarter slammed the upset-door shut.

"Burton got a couple open looks," Martindale said. "We came down and missed a couple shots, and they were able to expand the lead.

"If we sure that up, we're right there in the end and it's going to be a one-possession ball game. We just lacked (during) that short, short spurt there were we needed to take care of some things and didn't."

Brewer finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Burton led Southmont with 22 points of his own and added five assists.

It may not have been a moral victory for the Cougars, but the loss won't defeat their morale.

"We've got to understand that we cannot take any plays off," Martindale said. "As the season goes on, you've just got to extend your good play. At the beginning of the year, you're not going to have long stretches of good play."

NPHS (2-10, 0-2 WCC) will return Friday with a game at Cloverdale.

The Cougars came out on top in the Putnam County Classic, 66-41.

(Photo)
North Putnam junior Bennett Hazelgrove scores his only points of the game, a layup in the second quarter.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]


At Southmont
North Putnam 10 22 16 10 -- 48
Southmont 14 9 17 20 -- 60

Individual scoring
North Putnam: Brewer 10-22 0-1 22, Beaman 3-4 0-0 7, Nauert 2-7 3-3 7, Gren 3-8 0-0 6, Hazelgrove 1-2 0-4 2, Haste 1-4 0-0 2, Flynn 0-1 0-0 0, Roberts 0-0 0-0 0.
Southmont: Burton 8-13 2-3 22, Thomas 6-13 1-2 17, Cooksey 6-11 2-3 15, Dinius 1-3 1-2 3, Whalen 0-0 2-2 2, Stewart 0-1 0-0 0, Dehne 0-0 0-0 0.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
North Putnam 20-48 (5-17) 3-8 48, Southmont 21-43 (9-21) 9-14 60.

Rebounds (offensive)
North Putnam 24 (4), Southmont 31 (8).

Turnovers
North Putnam 9, Southmont 11.



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