North Putnam girls’ program turning corner

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Emilee Henninger of North Putnam goes up for two against North Montgomery on Monday.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

ROACHDALE — The North Putnam Cougars celebrated their Senior Night on Tuesday as they hosted the Turkey Run Warriors in girls’ basketball action, extending their celebration with their second win of the season with a 40-17 victory.

“We played well defensively. I believe that that was the reason we were able to win the game,” North Putnam head coach Jarrod Duff said as his Cougars improved to 2-19 on the season.

Aleah Duncan sparked the Cougars from the start. The 5-foot-4 senior scored the first eight points of the game for North, including two buckets from behind the three-point arc.

Freshman Bailee Osburn got the crowd going to end the period with a buzzer-beating trey to give the Cougars an 11-5 lead at the first stoppage in play.

“We have executed offensively pretty well over the last four or five games, but our shots didn’t fall.” Duff said. “I think even though against Greencastle we only scored 15 points we executed but didn’t hit the shots. Tonight, we moved the ball and hit the shots.”

The Cougars broke the game open in the second stanza as they held the Warriors to just two points and picked up 12 themselves. The Warriors were only able to hit one field goal in seven chances, and the Cougar pressure also forced eight turnovers.

Duncan again led the way with seven points in the quarter, but the pressure defense was a key, according to Duff.

“We were able to execute our defense and honestly I think we really played well defensively,” Duff said of his team that led 26-7 at halftime.

Again, Turkey Run struggled to score after the break. The Warriors only scored three points in the third quarter as again the Cougar defense held them to 1-of-9 shooting. North again executed at the end of a quarter as freshman Hannah Sims hit a lay-up at the buzzer giving the Cougars a 34-10 lead heading into the final period.

“We have improved defensively and gotten better at executing,” Duff said. “We don’t always match up athletically with teams, but tonight we were able to do a lot of good things.”

North Putnam began to empty its bench in the final quarter. The two teams played basically an even fourth quarter, with Turkey Run outscoring the Cougars 7-6, but that was not near enough as the Cougars finished with a 40-17 victory.

Duncan led the Cougars with 16 points, while fellow senior Emilee Henninger added six points.

“[Duncan] has been playing with a lot of confidence lately. It was good to see her have this game on senior night,” Duff said.

The Cougars will wrap up their regular season Thursday night as they travel to Eminence and try to put together their first winning streak of the season together.

“Hopefully, we can continue to be competitive and keep getting better,” Duff said.

TURKEY RUN (17) – Romig 2-3 3-6 7, York 0-4 0-0 0, Cook 1-7 0-1 2, R. Snodgrass 1-3 0-0 2, E. Snodgrass 1-3 0-0 2, Marshall 0-7 2-3 2, Gill 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 6-28 FG, 5-10 FT, 17 TP.

NORTH PUTNAM (40) – Duncan 5-6 3-4 16, Sims 2-5 0-3 4, Runnells 1-4 0-0 3, Parent 0-1 0-0 0, Henninger 1-5 4-5 6, Osburn 1-8 1-2 4, Lyons 1-3 0-0 3, Tennis 0-0 0-0 0, Spencer 0-1 0-0 0, Young 1-3 0-0 2, Sawyer 0-2 0-0 0, Simmerman 0-0 0-0 0, Day 1-2 0-0 2, O’Neal 0-4 0-0 0, Gibson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-40 FG, 8-14 FT, 40 TP.

Turkey Run 5 2 3 7 – 17

North Putnam 11 15 8 6 – 40

3-point shooting – TR 0-12 (York 0-3, E. Snodgrass 0-2, Marshall 0-7), NP 6-14 (Duncan 3-4, Sims 0-1, Runnells 1-2, Osburn 1-1, Lyons 1-3, Sawyer 0-1, O’Neal 0-2 ) REB – TR 30 (Romig 4, York 4, Cook 9, R. Snodgrass 1, E. Snodgrass 4, Marshall 2, Gill 2), NP 28 (Duncan 3, Sims 3, Parent 1, Henninger 3, Osburn 2, Lyons 1, Spencer 1, Young 3, Simmerman 2), FG Pct. – TR 38.2, NP 32.5. FT Pct. – TR 50.0, NP 57.1. Turnovers – TR 28, NP 14.

In Monday action:

North Montgomery 30, North Putnam 26 — At Roachdale, the Cougars overcame a slow start to cut the deficit to two points twice in the final minute but could not pull out the win.

North Montgomery led 9-0 after one quarter and 12-4 at halftime before the Cougars got going in the third period.

Hannah Sims and Aleah Duncan scored early second-half baskets to bring North Putnam within 12-8, with Payton Lyons adding the first of her three 3-pointers on the night, Emilee Henninger scoring on back-to-back putbacks and Sims adding a pair of free throws to cut the gap to 18-17 with 2:36 left in the third period.

North Montgomery scored the final two baskets of the period to take a 22-17 lead into the final quarter, and opened the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws to raise the lead to seven.

North Putnams's Payton Lyons (15) looks to pass out of a double-team on Monday night against North Montgomery.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

Baylee Osburn hit a free throw with 3:58 left and Lyons followed with a trey to make it 24-21 with 1:52 left.

The Chargers didn’t make a basket in the fourth quarter, but hit eight of 10 free throws — including six of six in the final 55 seconds — to seal the win.

NM’s Caroline McClaskey hit a pair of free throws with 55.1 seconds left, but Lyons answered with another trey to cut the lead back to two.

Lyons finished with nine points to lead North Putnam, while Henninger added eight and Sims had six.

NORTH MONTGOMERY (30) — McClaskey 3-6 5-6 11, Dyson 1-1 0-0 2, Ka.Sabens 0-3 1-2 1, Ke.Sabens 2-6 1-2 5, Adams 2-9 3-4 7, Humphreys 1-3 2-2 4. Totals 9-28 FG, 12-16 FT, 30 TP

NORTH PUTNAM (26) — Henninger 4-6 0-0 8, Duncan 1-6 0-1 2, Runnells 0-2 0-1 0, Sims 2-9 2-2 6, Parent 0-1 0-0 0, Osburn 0-11 1-2 1, Lyons 3-8 0-0 9, Young 0-1 0-0 0, Spencer 0-3 0-0 0, Tennis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 10-51 FG, 3-5 FT, 26 TP

North Montgomery 9 3 10 8 — 30

North Putnam 0 4 13 9 — 26

3-point shooting — North Montgomery 0-2 (McClaskey 0-1, KeSabens 0-1), North Putnam 3-11 (Duncan 0-3, Runnells 0-1, Sims 0-1, Lyons 3-4, Tennis 0-1). Turnovers — NM 16, NP 13.

In Saturday action:

Cougars win JV tourney — At Lizton, North Putnam won two games on Saturday to capture the Tri-West junior varsity girls’ tournament.

The Cougars defeated Tri-West 35-34 in the first round, then beat Western Boone 29-20 in the championship game.

Against Tri-West, the Cougars got balanced scoring with eight points each from Dana Tennis and Baylee Osburn, while Hannah Sims added five, Ashley O’Neal and Clarissa Gibson had four each and Kinzey Young, Carissa Jones and Jaden Day had two points each.

“All the girls played great and I was impressed with how resilient they were,” NP junior varsity coach Kyle Black said. “In the first game we gave up a basket to go down one with about 15 seconds left, got the ball down the court, hit the open girl and knocked down the game winner with five seconds left.”

In the championship game, the Cougars fell behind 12-7 after one quarter and 16-9 at halftime, but came back to pick up the win.

“We only gave up six points in the second half,” Black said. “The girls adjusted to everything we struggled with on the offensive end in the first half and refused to let Western Boone dictate how they played.”

Osburn led the Cougars with eight points, while Sims had seven, Tennis had six, Young and Day had three each and O’Neal had two.

“We’ve talked all year about what these girls can accomplish when they play great basketball and it showed in both games,” Black said. “It was an awesome day for those girls and the whole program.”

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  • Maybe we could schedule T Run 3 or 4 times next year?

    -- Posted by nphs92 on Wed, Jan 25, 2017, at 8:09 AM
  • You have made snide, rude and negative comments about NP girls basketball more than once this season.

    They are a very young team whose upperclassmen have had a different coach for the last 4 years.

    By reading the articles all season, they have improved and come a long way. I can tell that the girls and coaching staff have remained positive throughout the season. Maybe you should do the same.

    -- Posted by PutCoRes on Wed, Jan 25, 2017, at 12:04 PM
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