Cougars get first win of the season

Sunday, November 22, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

Jim Brothers and the North Putnam High School girls' basketball team got their first win of the season Saturday night, dominating the Lady Clovers 56-28 in a game that looked like more of a boxing match than a basketball game.

"It was a pretty physical game," Brothers said. "Both teams were competitive and fighting for a win.

"We're competitive, they're competitive and the refs blew a lot of whistles. And some of those scrums out there looked like a rugby match, but I think our kids did pretty well," Brothers added. ""In games like these you have to be physical."

Physical might be the understatement of the season. Both teams had a combined 46 fouls, with several players having four fouls each, but a win is a win no matter if it's ugly or clean.

It's still a win; and for Brothers it was big one.

North Putnam decided at the start of the game, it was going to dictate the tone. From the tip off to the end, the Lady Cougars pressured Cloverdale with a full court press, forcing them to turn the ball over.

"At this level, you should be able to dribble the basketball and we really struggled with that," CHS coach Tom Anderson said. "We were dribbling it off our foot and having the ball taken away from us."

The Cougars defense forced 31 turnovers for the Lady Clovers and held them to single digit scoring in all four quarters of Saturday's consolation game.

"It took our kids the first half to get their legs back into the playing shape after last night's (Friday) game," Brother said. "I wanted to keep the press going because I knew if they found another gear, they would be coming at us."

The closest the Lady Clovers got to North Putnam was in the third period, their most productive period, where they scored nine points. But Cloverdale's defense couldn't contain the Lady Cougars. North Putnam outscored Cloverdale 13-9 in the third and then 21-6 in the fourth.

"In the second half, we finally found a little more control and started to make some better decisions and finally got some shots to drop," Brothers said. "And once you get the first shot to drop, it's a little easier to get the next one to drop."

The Lady Cougars shot 32 percent in both halves, but the big thing that helped North Putnam was it's free throw shooting. It went 8-of-17 from the charity stripe in the second half and went 10-of-19 for the night. Cloverdale only converted five of its 17 free throws in the second half and went 9-for-29 on the night.

"Last night we played with a lot of fire and intensity and it was obvious that we have some things to work on," Anderson said. "But tonight I thought we didn't put forth the effort we did the night before. We just weren't as fiery as last night.

"We really had a hard time getting into our offense," Anderson said. "We had girls standing around and leaving our point guard, who by the way is like our third string point guard because the other two couldn't play, and leaving her hanging out there to dry. They just didn't move or cut and get into our offense."

Anderson went on saying that there are some things that have to change.

"We still have things to work on, but the worse thing is when you dont have great effort." Anderson said. "I don't think we had the effort that we did last night. It has to come from them. They have to want it."

North Putnam is now 1-3 on the season while Cloverdale falls to 0-4.

At South Putnam

Cloverdale 7 6 9 6 -- 28

North Putnam 10 12 13 21 -- 56

Cloverdale -- Wiley 0 2-2 2, McCammon 1 0-1 2, McCallie 1 1-2 4, Rightmyer 1 1-4 3, Williams1 0-0 2, Langdon 0 2-2 2, Woodworth 0 1-3 1, Oetken 4 1-8 9, Gruener 1 1-4 3

North Putnam -- Stephenson 1 0-0 2, Frye 1 1-3 3, Crosby 4 1-2 9, Pinney 1 2-2 4, Davis 2 1-3 5, Robinson 6 0-1 12, Malayer 2 4-4 9, Asbell 3 0-2 6, McGaughey 2 2-2 6