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Haste, Hazelgrove help Cougars outclaw Wildcats in win 73-63

Monday, February 4, 2013

North Putnam senior Jameson Brewer dunks the ball over the helpless defense of South Vermillion sophomore Jordan Branz on Saturday.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
ROACHDALE -- The North Putnam boys' basketball team has been making steady improvements throughout the year, putting together periods of dominant offense, swarming defense and streaky shooting.

The Cougars put it all together Saturday, beating South Vermillion on senior night 73-63.

Senior Jake Haste and junior Bennett Hazelgrove led the way, each with a double-double.

Haste finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Hazelgrove with 16 and 10.

Senior Jameson Brewer continued to do what he's been doing all year, scoring 20 and adding nine rebounds of his own.

"We're happy to have (Haste) and these four seniors," NPHS coach Nathan Martindale said. "They've come around and they've really worked hard, and it's good to see them reaping the benefits of a winning streak."

After starting the year 2-10, the Cougars have now won four straight, including three West Central Conference wins.

The Cougars and Wildcats both play a physical style, and in nearly any physical contest, Haste will have the advantage. Though he has played with an edge at times this year, he maintained his composure and avoided foul trouble Saturday.

Instead, he bullied the Wildcats with sound decisions and measured aggressiveness.

"He had a huge impact for us," Martindale said. "He was able to clog up their drives on the defensive side of the basketball, and then offensively they really didn't have the bodies to matchup underneath ... What he's done for this program and this team this year, considering he hadn't played in the past couple years, is just remarkable."

Hazelgrove, who has been a starter for most of the season, came off the bench (behind senior Michael Herrmann) and had the best game of his career.

He played with an aggressiveness and swagger he hasn't displayed previously, finishing on several athletic drives to the basket and knocking down a pair of threes.

"We are a scrappy bunch of guards, and that's how we have to play," Martindale said. "Ben is that way."

The Cougars never trailed, building off the senior night momentum and taking a 41-25 lead at the half.

Herrmann knocked down a shot from the baseline in his only field goal attempt.

Each time the Wildcats threatened to make a run, the North Putnam defense came through.

Senior Zach Green and junior Jordan Nauert (twice) each had steals that led directly to wide open, fast break layups, then Brewer had a steal of his own, taking it the length of the court for a powerful slam dunk over the trailing defender.

"We got most of those 50-50 balls," Martindale said. "When the ball is on the ground and we can pull it out of there, we've got guys leaking out. That's going to give us layups, so that's why it's crucial that we gather those 50-50s and make sure we clean those up."

Senior Kaden Lawson had a game-high 25 points for South Vermillion.

North Putnam (6-10) will look to continue its four-game winning streak when it hosts Eminence on Thursday.

Senior Jake Haste elevates for a rebound against South Vermillion.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]

At North Putnam
South Vermillion14 11 19 19 -- 63
North Putnam 23 18 17 15 -- 73

Individual scoring
South Vermillion (3-14, 0-5): Lawson 10-21 2-2 25, Spivey 3-5 3-4 9, Branz 3-11 2-2 8, Luft 2-8 0-0 6, Strayer 2-7 0-0 5, Hines 2-8 0-0 4, Waldror 2-4 0-0 4, Crouch 1-1 0-0 2. Total 24-67 7-8 63.
North Putnam (6-10, 3-2): Haste 8-10 4-7 20, Brewer 7-18 6-6 20, Hazelgrove 6-10 2-4 16, Nauert 3-5 1-2 8, Flyn 1-2 1-2 4, Green 1-4 1-2 3, Herrmann 1-1 0-0 2, Roberts 0-0 0-0 0, Riggen 0-0 0-0 0, Dean 0-0 0-0 0. Total 27-49 15-23 73.

SV 6-18 (Luft 2), NP 4-9 (Hazelgrove 2).

Rebounds (offensive)
SV 21 (11), NP 35 (5).

SV 10, NP 17.

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