Poor first half does in Cougars

Saturday, December 15, 2007
North Putnam's Jerrett Ban drive hard to the basket during Friday's contest.

CLAYTON -- A 27-13 run to finish the game was not enough for the North Putnam boys Friday night, as they fell to Cascade 60-47.

However, finding themselves down 47-20 midway through the third period, the Cougars (0-4, 0-1 WCC) did not give up. They picked up their level of play and made the Cadets (2-3, 2-1 WCC) have to fight for it down the stretch.

North coach Wes Peek found some definite positives to build on from the strong stretch run.

"Our energy on the defensive end picked up significantly there in the third quarter and early on in the fourth," Peek said. "If we can start that way, we'll be in good shape.

"But we started a little slow defensively," he added. "The shots didn't fall early and if shots don't fall early, a lot of times your defense ends up suffering too. That's just the way kids are wired. The shots started to go, and we picked it up defensively. But that can't be our trend; we've gotta play defensively from the tip like we did in the second half."

Things were tough for the Cougars early. Cascade opened with a 9-0 run, and continued to build the lead through the remainder of the half and into the second half.

In the third period, things began to click for the Cougars. In particular, Zach Hedrick hit four consecutive shots that accounted for 11 of his team-leading 13 points.

Jerrett Ban was next for the Cougars with 10 points.

"I thought our guys did a great job of making a push late," Peek said. "We were a bucket or two away from really having a chance to win the game. Fighting back from 27 or whatever it was, we're pretty proud of that effort in the second half."

North Putnam has all the marks of a team still finding itself. The Cougars have struggled with a late start and some injuries to veterans. Senior J.T. Francies just returned in last week's game at Crawfordsville. Junior Griffen Dahlstrom saw his first action of the year on Friday.

With that in mind, Peek has subbed early and often, trying to see what combination does the best together. He may have found something in the second half Friday.

"We have to find a group that plays well together. I think tonight we might've found that group. We'll build from there, but I think everybody that came in off the bench gave us something," Peek said. "We've still got some guys in the wrong places, but that will come with more repetition and having more practice time with the guys that have been hurt.

"We're pretty happy with that second half and we'll hopefully roll that into tomorrow," he continued. "If we play tomorrow, we have to play from the start like we did in the second half. If we do that, we'll be in good shape."

With the threat of inclement weather, the statues tonight's home game is still up in the air. However, the Cougars are scheduled to host Riverton Parke at 8 p.m. tonight.

At Cascade

North Putnam 6 8 15 18 -- 47

Cascade 18 17 12 13 -- 60

North Putnam -- Hedrick 5-13 0-0 13, Ban 3-8 4-4 10, Heron 2-4 3-4 10, Dahlstrom 3-6 0-2 6, Alcorn 2-3 0-0 4, Adams 1-1 0-0 2, Hadley 1-6 0-0 2, Jones 1-4 0-0 2, Francies 0-1 0-0 0.

Cascade -- Guthrie 7-12 2-2 17, Dunn 6-13 0-0 12, Fuehrer 4-7 0-0 9, Spencer 4-9 1-1 9, Vieira 1-2 2-2 5, Simpson 2-4 0-0 4, Arthur 2-7 0-0 4.

Next game -- North Putnam (0-4, 0-1 WCC) hosts Riverton Parke at 8 p.m. tonight.

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