Cougars overcome Eagles' upset bid with 45-42 win

Saturday, February 8, 2014
North Putnam senior Shane Beaman (center) buries a circus shot for two of his team-leading 15 points Friday night. The Cougars topped the Eagles 45-42. (Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN)

ROACHDALE -- The North Putnam Cougars boy basketball team welcomed the South Putnam Eagles to their home court for a conference showdown. The game did not dissapoint as the Cougars came away with a hard fought win, 45-42.

"The effort was there. We just were a little inconsistent at times, we need to be more consistent," SPHS head coach Troy Burgess said.

"I have to give our guys a lot of credit. South Putnam came in with a great game plan and defended our half court offense very well," NPHS head coach Lukas Haworth said.

North Putnam (7-6, 3-2 WCC) was hoping to get this win to push it above .500 on the season and South Putnam (2-11, 0-5 WCC) was hoping for its first conference win to get its season back on track.

The first half of the game was relatively low scoring for both schools. At the end of the first quarter the score was 14-4 in the Cougars' favor and they looked to be in total control.

The Eagles then went on a 10-3 run in the entire second quarter and only trailed by three at the half, 17-14.

Offenses for both teams exploded in the third quarter. The Cougars scored 16 points and the Eagles scored 14 points, almost doubling the first half output overall.

A big part of the game came in the waning moments of the third quarter as North Putnam senior Jordan Nauert hit a 3-pointer as time expired to stretch the lead to 33-28.

That shot proved big for the Cougars when Eagle junior Jake Schroer hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to cut the loss to three points, 45-42. If Nauert had not hit his shot, the game would have gone to overtime.

South Putnam had not been outrebounded all year, but that all changed when it took on the much smaller North Putnam.

Michael Roberts of North Putnam drives past the Eagles' Jake Schroer. (Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN)

"I have to give the boys on the floor at any given time all the credit in the world for that. That was the one thing that we wanted to do. We knew we trusted our defense and to be the first team to outrebound South Putnam on the year is a huge accomplishment and a challenge that was accepted by my boys," Haworth said.

"This was the first game all year we have been outrebounded, it was not good. We have outrebounded every opponent this year," Burgess said.

Both teams have many games left this season to get to where they want to be and eyes are not starting to go to the postseason quite yet.

"We just have to keep getting better, and see what happens. We have another opportunity to go out and play tomorrow night," Burgess said.

"We need to keep winning games like this, we do not care how we get them as long as we win. We need to keep improving and we will have a good test tomorrow at South Vermillion," Haworth said.

At North Putnam
South Putna 4 10 14 14 -- 42
North Putnam 14 3 16 12 -- 45
South Putnam (42):
Moore 6-11 3-3 15, Schroer 4-9 2-7 13, McHugh 2-4 0-0 4, Long 1-4 2-2 4, Masters 1-2 1-3 3, Carmicheal 1-1 0-0 2, Chestnut 0-3 1-2 1, Rutter 0-1 0-0 0. Total: 15-35 (3-10) 9-17, 42.
North Putnam (45):
Beaman 3-6 6-6 14, Nauert 4-13 2-3 12, Roberts 1-6 7-11 9, Hazelgrove 1-7 2-4 4, Flynn 1-1 0-0 2, Green 1-4 0-0 2, Hall 1-1 0-0 2. Total: 12-35 (4-14) 17-24, 45.
SP (19-4): Moore 7-1, Rutter 3-2, Schroer 3-1, Chestnut 3-0, McHugh 3-0. NP: (21-9): Roberts 9-3, Hall 5-2, Beaman 2-1, Green 2-1, Nauert 1-1, Flynn 1-0, Hazelgrove 1-0.
Turnovers SP 13, NP 10.

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