South Putnam welcomed the Monrovia Bulldogs to its home court Friday in a West Central Conference contest. The Eagles struggled out of the gate, fell behind big and were never able to recover in a 48-28 loss.
Shortly after the opening tip it was clear that it was going to be a tough go for South Putnam Friday. Shot after shot failed to find its mark, while Monrovia seemingly hit everything it tossed up. The Bulldogs raced out in front and seized a dominating 25-5 advantage after the first quarter.
"We dug ourselves a huge hole in that first quarter," South Putnam head coach Lindsey Blackman said. "Giving up 25 points at home in the first quarter is not how we wanted to start the game. They put pressure on us, but it wasn't anything we haven't seen. We just didn't show up mentally."
The Eagles continued to struggle in the second quarter, but managed to outscore Monrovia 8-6 in the period. Senior Leanna Masters accounted for seven of the team's eight points in the quarter.
Staring at a 31-13 deficit on the scoreboard returning from the break, South Putnam knew it's only shot to get back into the game was to have a hot start to the second half. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
The Bulldogs outpaced the Eagles 12-6 in the third to take a 43-19 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Eagles weren't ready to give up.
As it did in the second quarter, South Putnam outscored Monrovia 9-5 in the final quarter, but lost the contest 48-28.
Teams can hit the court and put in the time dribbling and shooting, but when it's the mental aspect of the game that's ailing a team, that's a tougher fix.
Blackman said the team spoke after the game about coming together and examining how it is approaching its games.
"We talked about how we approach our pregame, how we get here, how we get shots up before the game -- and I could tell today we weren't ready," she said. "We weren't focused and we didn't take the opportunities to get shots up and get mentally prepared for the game.
"We need to do a better job as coaches enforcing it and making sure the athletes want to be here and want to get shots up and want to work together before the game even starts."
Blackman said the team will get back to work today by reviewing the game, especially the opening eight minutes of the contest. Then they will shift their focus to a Tuesday contest with a tough Tri-West squad.
South Putnam will hit the road to face the Bruins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
At South Putnam
Monrovia 25 6 12 5 -- 48
South Putnam 5 8 6 9 -- 28
Monrovia: Whitaker 13, Tharp 11, Knieper 9, Smith 9, Riffel 4, Nay 2. Total: 20-48 FG, 4-11 FT, 38 TP.
South Putnam: Masters 11, Nichols 7, Varvel 5, Birt 2, Dobson 2, Barnes 1. Totals: 10-54 FG, 8-14 FT, 28 TP.