Big Eagle comeback not enough in loss to Mounties

Monday, January 20, 2014

NEW MARKET -- A furious second-half comeback to take the lead Saturday at Southmont was not enough, as South Putnam fell to the Mounties 62-57.

South Putnam (1-8) overcame a 19-point deficit and actually built the lead to four, but the Mounties (2-9) closed the deal in the final minutes.

The Eagles (1-8) slid to Southmont in the snowy weather and in the first half it appeared as though they had just as soon started for home.

Anything and everything that could go wrong did in the first half, as the Eagles found themselves on the short end of a 40-21 score to the Mounties, who were looking for just its second win of the season.

The Mounties (2-9) had struggled shooting the ball all season but came out and hit 7-of-13 in the first quarter and ended the half hitting 14-of-28. That included 8-of-15 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile the Eagles started just 3-of-11 in the first quarter and ended 9-of-24 for the first half and only 1-of-7 from 3-point land.

The Eagles also hurt themselves with 10 turnovers.

To add insult to injury, the Mounties' leading scorer from last year Devon Burton, made his first appearance of the season and gave the Mounties a huge emotional lift midway through the first quarter and ended the half with eight points.

"When you are struggling everything seems to go against you and we are struggling and nothing, absolutely nothing went right in the first half," Eagle coach Troy Burgess said. "We were doing too much one-on-one stuff and settling for a lot of threes. That is not what we are good at and it showed."

The second half was a completely different story.

The Eagles came out and went on a 14-2 run to start the third quarter and quickly cut the Mountie lead to 42-35. By the end of the quarter the Southmont lead was still seven at 46-39.

Sparking the Eagles' surge in the third quarter was the play of sophomore Joey Masters, who did not even see the floor in the first half. He scored four points and ripped down six rebounds.

With Masters giving the Eagles a spark the team took the ball inside time after time and scored 14 of its 18 third quarter points in the paint.

"That's what we do well," Burgess said. "And in the third quarter we just started doing it. Masters started for us a couple of games ago. He is a banger and sometimes the opposition dictates his minutes. We played him a couple of quarters on the JV tonight because he needs minutes. At the end of the second quarter I looked down at him and I told him he was going to start the second half and play as long as he could. He came in and gave us a lot of energy."

Supplying energy all game long was senior Trey Moore, who scored a game-high 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Moore's two free throws with 2:38 to play in the game gave the Eagles their first lead at 53-51 since they led 4-3.

The Eagles had a 55-51 lead but with 1:17 to play Burton hit a basket and then followed that up with a 3-pointer with 42 seconds to put the Mounties back up 56-55. He then hit four free throws in the final 31 seconds to account for nine of the Mounties' final 11 points in the final 1:17.

"We were supposed to play them on Dec. 14 and then Dec. 21 and both times we got snowed out," Burgess said. "We play them tonight and Burton is back. I mean I am glad he is back. He's a great kid but I wish he would have come back next week. That's just the type of season we have had so far."

South Putnam will play at Eminence on Tuesday in an attempt to try to snap its seven-game losing streak.

At Southmont

South Putnam 7 14 18 18 -- 57

Southmont 19 21 6 16 -- 62

South Putnam (57): Rutter 2-5 0-0 4, Mitchell 0-3 0-0 0, Schroer 2-12 3-4 9, Long 4-9 0-0 8, Moore 11-18 2-3 24, Chestnut 2-3 0-0 4, Carmichael 1-2 2-2 4, Masters 2-2 0-2 4. Totals 24-57 7-11 57.

Southmont (62): Todd 2-5 0-0 5, Remley 2-7 0-0 4, Jent 0-0 0-0 0, Whalen 5-21 5-5 18, Benge 2-4 1-2 5, Truncone 4-8 0-0 11, Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Burton 6-8 4-7 19, Swick 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 10-14 62.

3-Point Shots: South Putnam 2-13 (Schroer 2-11, Rutter 0-1, Chestnut 0-1), Southmont 10-25 (Todd 1-2, Remley 0-3, Whalen 3-10, Truncone 3-7, Burton 3-3)
 Rebounds: South Putnam 49 (Moore 10, Masters 8, Carmichael 7, Long 6), Southmont 25 (Benge 5, Todd 5) 
Totals Fouls: South Putnam 12, Southmont 12
 Turnovers: South Putnam 17, Southmont 7

JV Score: South Putnam 38-36.

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