(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
The South Putnam Eagles boys' basketball team welcomed the Indianapolis Shortridge Blue Devils to their home court. The Eagles won in overtime, 63-62.
The first couple minutes of the game showed that the Eagles were outmatched both in size and in athleticism.
The Blue Devils had an early lead in the first half by getting inside and shooting threes. Shortridge was 7-for-8 on threes to start the game.
South Putnam didn't play very well in the first half but still kept the game close until the second half.
South Putnam outrebounded and forced more turnovers than Shortridge. The Eagles also were fouled seven times while only fouling the Blue Devils four times.
"That's an extremely talented team. To hold them to 60s in overtime, our defense did a great job," South Putnam coach Troy Burgess said.
The Eagles started coming back in the second half and made it very exciting for all the fans.
Junior Sawyer Arnold was getting the ball a lot in the third quarter and all he did was shoot threes. It helped that he made most of them to tie up the game at 42 at the end of the third.
The Eagles only turned the ball over three times in the frame against a very athletic Shortridge team.
The fourth quarter really got interested with lots of hustle plays by both teams and both showing a lot of toughness.
Shortridge had the ball with less than 10 second left and Israel White knocked down a three to send it into overtime.
The Eagles played outstanding in overtime. They had a lead by four with little time remaining and White knocked down what looked like a three but was called a two. The Eagles led 61-59 with less than 20 seconds left.
Junior Klayton Vittetow knocked down a couple free throws that iced the game and moved the score to 63-59.
With seven seconds left Shortridge ran down and knocked down another three that pulled the game to within one but South Putnam didn't attempt to inbound the ball as the final three seconds ticked off the clock.
South Putnam showed lots of team chemistry, effort and pride as it came back from 11 down in the first half to get back into the game and force overtime, which it eventually won.
"We aren't going to beat this team if we go out and play one-on-one with them. I thought that for the first time in a long time we played as a team. We played good team defense, we helped, we talked and we did the things that we worked on. I have not seen that in a while and that's what it took to beat a team this athletic," Burgess stated.
Despite the size of Shortridge, senior Ryan Chestnut and junior Trey Moore did a very good job of defending the paint against 6'5" Kailen Guilleroy, 6'7" Josh Price, and 6'4" White.
"Chestnut and Moore won the ballgame for us. To be undersized like they were and to go in there and play the game that they did it was a tremendous effort by both of those guys," Burgess said. "We were ahead against Greencastle and North Putnam. We were ahead in this one and it went to overtime. We need to take care of the ball, make better decisions and learn to finish games."
At South Putnam
Ind. Short. 19 10 13 10 10 -- 62
S. Putnam 12 9 21 10 11 -- 63
Indianapolis Shortridge: White 19, Price 17, Jones 11, Guilleroy 8, Person 3, Long 2, Turentine 2.
South Putnam: Arnold 20, Moore 18, Chestnut 14, Vittetow 7, Pell 4.
Team scoring (three-pointers)
ISR: 17-39 (7-8) 7-11; SP: 16-25 (6-23) 13-20.
ISP 24, SP 21.
ISP 16, SP 13.