(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
So when Turkey Run junior Jordan Goddard sank a layup from the right block as time expired to give her team a 33-32 win at North Putnam, the Cougars had numerous plays they could point to as a culprit.
North Putnam (4-14, 0-3 WCC) had several success on Tuesday: senior Sam Lucas scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds; junior Bethany Wiatt had seven steals, to go along with her seven points; the squad had only 14 turnovers.
But the positives were balanced out by what the Warriors did well: winning the rebound battle 34-29; slowing the game down to their pace.
Most importantly, though, Turkey Run had the ball last.
"I told the girls at halftime that (Turkey Run) was going to try to slow the game down and keep the tempo down and make it low possession," NPHS coach Curtis Lawrence said. "When we see a short bench (Turkey Run dressed six players), we want to try to pick the tempo up."
As Turkey Run (2-17) slowed the pace of the game down to a crawl, the Cougars couldn't ever seem to inject energy.
The crisp, decisive passing of the Warriors negated the NPHS press, and falling back on defense meant sitting in a zone and waiting Turkey Run to make a mistake.
The Cougars capitalized in spurts, but that meant building a lead up to only five.
As the clock ticked away late in the fourth quarter, the Cougars up one point, it seemed like the Warriors would work it down for the last shot.
Turkey Run had tried to burn the final forty seconds of the third quarter in the Four Corners offense, but it turned the ball over late.
As Wiatt dove on a loose ball, the game tied with 11 seconds left in the fourth, they repeated their mistake.
Wiatt tied the ball up and the possession arrow pointed for North Putnam.
Lucas was fouled on the inbounds and sank one-of-two free throws to take the lead with 3.2 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, the Warriors took the ball out on the sideline near half court.
"It was a poor coaching move on my part at the end," Lawrence said. "I shouldn't have had (senior Cayla Kientz) guarding the ball out of bounds with 3.2. I should have had her back in the middle of the lane. That kind of made everybody help."
Senior Chelsie Wood appeared trapped on the sideline but found Goddard under the basket for a layup.
Goddard finished the game with 14 points (six-of-nine from the field) and seven rebounds.
The Cougars will be back in action Friday when they host Greencastle at 6 p.m. It is also the NPHS homecoming.
At North Putnam
Turkey Run 7 5 10 11 -- 33
North Putnam 8 5 12 7 -- 32
Turkey Run (2-17): Goddard 6-9 2-3 14, Grayless 3-7 1-3 7, Thompson 1-4 0-0 3, Bowling 1-5 0-0 3, Wood 0-9 3-5 3, Basan 1-2 0-0 3.
North Putnam (4-14, 0-3): Lucas 5-11 6-8 16, Wiatt 3-6 1-2 7, Smith 3-10 0-2 6, Asbell 1-7 0-2 2, Kientz 0-1 1-2 1, Nauert 0-2 0-0 0, Aynes 0-3 0-0 0, Land 0-0 0-0 0.
Team scoring (three-pointers)
TR 12-37 (3-12) 6-12 33, NP 12-39 (0-0) 8-16 32.
TR 34 (12), NP 29 (11).
TR 20, NP 14.