Eagles produce better balance in win over Eminence

Monday, December 4, 2017

The South Putnam Eagle boys’ basketball team methodically took apart the Eminence Eels 77-45 in a high school non-conference basketball game Saturday night. The Eagles placed three players in double figures and another four players with eight points. In addition, the Eagles improved to 3-1 on the year by outrebounding the smaller Eels 42-25 and taking care of the basketball with just nine turnovers.

“The past two games, we have Allen (Plunkett) score a lot and just a couple of other guys. It’s really, nice to have nine guys score. We had three in double figures and few very close. The balance was really good,” South Putnam head coach Greg Dean said.

The Eagles started quickly. Showing their balance, South jumped out to a 10-2 lead behind four players scoring in those first 10 points. The Eagles also finished the first quarter strong. They closed the quarter with a 5-0 run and led 19-7 heading into the second period.

Austin Arnold keyed the Eagle offense in the second quarter. The junior hit two treys late in the half to keep the Eagles with a comfortable lead. South led by 13 points at 34-21 at the end of the half. One of the keys in the first half was the Eagles’ ability to take care of the basketball. South had only nine turnovers in the game, but more impressively just one in the first half.

“We took really good care of the basketball tonight. Particularly considering how many possessions we had tonight. Thomas (Fanning) had a really, nice night handling the ball. He bounced back from a rough night last night. He is a tough kid,” Dean said.

The Eagles again extended their lead in the third period. Dalton Scott keyed South with five of his seven points in the quarter. The junior also pulled down three rebounds in the stanza as the taller Eagles punished the Eels on the boards.

South extended its lead to 54-33 at the end of the third quarter. They limited Eminence to just three rebounds in the period, while garnering 11 caroms themselves. South’s dominance on the boards was much better than the night before, according to their coach.

“We did a really nice job on the boards tonight. We did not do a good job last night. Tonight, I thought Wes Lesko did a good job on the boards, Steven Schnepp rebounding from the perimeter was good and Kain Gregory ran the floor well,” Dean said.

South continued to put more distance between the Eels and themselves in the fourth quarter. It didn’t matter who played, the Eagles scored and rebounded basically at will. The Eagles outscored Eminence 23-12 in the period. A lot of the scoring came from the free throw line in the quarter, but the Eagles had consistently gone to the free throw line all night. The Eagles shot 25-of-31 from the charity stripe, while the Eels only hit 10-of-19 on a night that saw 43 personal fouls called. South finished the game on a 10-3 run to set the final 77-45 margin.

“We only hit four threes. We really got to the rim well. That allowed us to get to the free throw line. We made 25 and they only shot 19. That is one of our goals,” Dean said.

The Eagles were led by Plunkett and Fanning with 13 points, while Arnold had 10. Shawn Michaelis scored 19 for the Eels.

The Eagles will try and pick up their first Western Indiana Conference victory next Friday as they travel to county rival Greencastle.

“We are looking forward to a good week of practice. Fortunately, the way our schedule sets up, we have a week off to prepare for a county rival,” Dean said.

EMINENCE (45) – Campbell 0-3 1-2 1, Webb 5-20 0-1 12, Michaelis 6-11 6-9 19, O’Mullane 0-2 0-1 0, Hoff 1-1 3-4 5, Sims 3-6 0-0 8, Lashbrook 0-0 0-0 0, Mehringer 0-1 0-0 0, Kemp 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 15-46 FG, 10-19 FT, 45 TP.

SOUTH PUTNAM (77) – Fanning 5-8 2-2 13, Arnold 3-8 2-2 10, Scott 3-7 0-0 7, Plunkett 4-9 5-7 13, Schnepp 2-7 4-4 8, Watson 1-4 6-6 8, Gregory 4-6 0-1 8, Lesko 1-4 6-9 8, VanSickle 0-1 0-0 0, Heavin 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-55 FG, 25-31 FT, 77 TP.

Eminence 7 14 12 12 – 45

South Putnam 19 15 20 23 – 77

3-point shooting – EHS 5-17 (Campbell 0-1, Webb 2-8, Michaelis 1-4, O’Mullane 0-1, Sims 2-3), SP 4-18 (Fanning 1-3, Arnold 2-4, Scott 1-2, Watson 0-2, VanSickle 0-1, Schnepp 0-3, Plunkett 0-3). Rebounds – EHS 25 (Campbell 1, Webb 1, Michaelis 12, O’Mullane 2, Hoff 3, Sims 1, Lashbrook 1, Mehringer 1) SP 44 (Fanning 5, VanSickle 1, Arnold 7, Schnepp 8, Plunkett 6, Scott 5, Watson 2, Gregory 3, Lesko 5, Heavin 2) FG Pct. – EHS 32.6, SP 43.6. FT Pct. – EHS 52.6, SP 80.6. Turnovers – EHS 15, SP 9.

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