Bad half dooms Eagles against Patriots

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
South Putnam junior Aubrey Nichols knocks down a three-point shot from the corner against Owen Valley on Tuesday. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)

A weak second half gave them a 55-36 loss, but the South Putnam girls' basketball team spent the first half of Tuesday's game looking ready to upset Owen Valley.

The Eagles' shots weren't falling but a newly-installed 2-3 zone defense had the Patriots scrambling.

Owen Valley shot just 24 percent (6-for-25) in the first half.

"At halftime, we were happy with the position we were in," SPHS head coach Lindsey Blackman said. "Because we switched to the zone, we knew we had to get block outs and get defensive rebounds. We crashed the boards offensively and were able to get some second shot attempts.

"We were happy with the aggressiveness and the tone in the first half and then we kind of let it go in the third (quarter)."

The Eagles led 19-15 at the break.

SPHS junior Aubrey Nichols and senior Leanna Masters each had six rebounds in the half, though the Eagles were outrebounded as a team, 22-19.

That deficit foreshadowed things to come.

Owen Valley came out for the second half on fire, getting to the rim on nearly every possession.

When Masters picked up her third foul early in the third the Patriots dominated the interior, pulling in seven offensive rebounds in the quarter.

The Patriots opened the second half on 23-2 run that extended into the fourth and dispirited the Eagles.

"I told the girls, this was the first time I wasn't happy with our performance," Blackman said. "It looked like in the third quarter we gave up. As soon as they hit a couple big shots, the shoulders went down, it was very quiet on defense. It seemed like a little let up."

Mallory Cash led the Eagles with nine points and three steals. Masters finished with eight points (three-for-four shooting) and nine rebounds.

Patriots guard Alicia Wilson had a game-high 17 points and five steals.

Sarah Jones came off the bench to pull in 14 rebounds for Owen Valley.

The Eagles are back in action Thursday when they travel to Covenant Christian. The game tips at 7:30 p.m.

At South Putnam
Owen Valley -- 8 7 19 21 -- 55
South Putnam -- 8 11 2 15 -- 36

Individual scoring
Owen Valley: Wilson 7-12, 2-2, 17; Herrington 5-7, 1-2, 13; Corder 5-11, 0-1, 10; Williams 3-12, 0-0, 7; Jones 3-13, 0-0, 6; Eldridge 1-6, 0-0, 2; Richardson 0-3, 0-1, 0.
South Putnam: Cash 4-13, 0-0, 9; Masters 3-4, 2-3, 9; Nichols 2-7, 1-1, 6; Varvel 2-10, 1-4, 5; Whitaker 2-2, 0-0, 4; Birt 1-6, 0-0, 2; Barnes 1-4, 0-0, 2; Cundiff 0-2, 0-0, 0; York 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hewitt 0-1, 0-0, 0.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
Owen Valley: 24-61 (9-34), 3-5, 51; South Putnam 15-48 (2-9), 4-9, 36.

Rebounds (offensive)
Owen Valley 45 (22), South Putnam 31 (13)


Owen Valley 16, South Putnam 21

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