North Putnam girls pick up first win

Friday, December 7, 2007
North Putnam junior Taylor Alles puts in two of her 23 points over a South Vermillion defender. North improved to 1-6 with the victory.

BAINBRIDGE -- It seems that South Vermillion was just what the North Putnam Lady Cougars needed to score their first win of the season. North Putnam dominated The Lady Cats from the opening tip and walked away with a 51-24 victory.

The game couldn't have started better for the Lady Cougars as they steadily built a lead throughout the opening period. Shawna Johnston got things going by scoring the Lady Cougars' first three points of the ballgame.

Taylor Alles scored eight points in the first quarter, pacing the Lady Cougars to a 13-4 lead after one.

"Two things I thought we did well tonight. I thought we set the tone very early in the first quarter defensively," North Putnam head coach Kevin Smith said. "We've been playing a lot of man-on-man lately and we kept them out of what they were trying to do. Then secondly, we took care of the basketball. They tried to press us like a lot of other team have done successfully this year and we took care of the basketball tonight. We found the open person and were aggressive when we caught the ball."

The stifling defense the Lady Cougars have displayed of late, kept an explosive South Vermillion squad struggling to find the net.

In the second quarter, North Putnam held the Lady Cats to three points while dropping in 15 of their own. As the team headed to the locker room at the half, the Lady Cougars held a 28-7 advantage over South Vermillion.

North Putnam's Shawna Johnston puts in two of her 13 points.

The second half was much of the same.

During the second and third quarters, North Putnam out-scored the Lady Cats 34-6 to take a dominating lead and had but one quarter standing between themselves and their first victory of the season.

The Lady Cats made a charge in the fourth quarter, but North Putnam had amassed an insurmountable lead. As the buzzer sounded to end the night, the Lady Cougars had notched their first win of the season.

The Lady Cougars also dominated the boards, with Alles and Johnston combining for 26 rebounds on the night. Smith talked about his team effort and showed little restraint when speaking of his happiness for his squad.

"All year long we felt like we've been getting closer and closer," Smith said. "I thought we did a nice job on the boards tonight. Taylor (Alles) and Shawna (Johnston) each had double figure rebounds again. We're starting to develop some type of identity.

"We've talked to the girls a lot about keeping the faith and hanging in there," Smith continued "It was a good win for us to start our conference season. I think our conference is going to be very competitive.

"I'm happy for the girls. They had two really close ball games in the last week. We could easily be 3-4 right now," Smith concluded.

The Lady Cougars will host North Vermillion at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

At North Putnam

South Vermillion 4 3 3 14 -- 24

North Putnam 13 15 19 4 -- 51

North Putnam --Alles 23, Johnston 13, Malayer 5, McGaughey 5, Frye 3, E. Crosby 2. Total: FG 20-53 FT 9-17 TP 51.

3pt. FG -- NP 2 (Malayer, McGaughey).

Next game -- The Lady Cougars will host North Vermillion at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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