North girls top Sullivan; Arrows win boys’ game

Saturday, December 8, 2018

BAINBRIDGE -- The North Putnam and Sullivan basketball teams split a WIC West doubleheader Friday night, with victories for the Cougar girls and the Golden Arrow boys.

Girls’ game

The Cougar girls have been improving since the Putnam County Classic and picked up their second consecutive win Friday night with a 51-44 victory over the Golden Arrows.

The win improved the Cougars to 4-5 on the season, but more importantly 2-0 in Western Indiana Conference play. Sullivan fell to 5-5 overall on the season and 0-2 in conference play.

The tough Cougars shut down a potent Arrow attack and pulled away late in the game for the victory. North held Sullivan to just 34 percent (16-of-47) shooting and held its own on the boards to come away with the win.

“I am really happy for our kids. We weren’t happy with the way we played at the county tourney. Since then we have played some really good basketball,” North Putnam coach Jarrod Duff said.

The two teams battled evenly throughout the first half. Sullivan led by one at the break after the first quarter, 11-10, and still by one point at the half, 25-24. The largest lead of the first half was just five points by Sullivan early in the game.

The stat sheet for the first was indicative of how evenly the teams played. Sullivan shot 10-of-25 from the field and 4-of-8 from the free throw line. North matched that with a 10-of-24 shooting performance and hit 3-of-5 from the charity stripe.

“We are still trying to find out who we are as a team,” Duff said. “We really did a lot of things well tonight. I told the girls after the county tourney to keep believing in me and the coaching staff. I was going to keep believing in them. I couldn’t be prouder tonight.”

The Cougar defense really began to pick up in the second half. North clamped down on the Arrows and held them to just 2-of-13 shooting in the third quarter. The Cougars made Sullivan earn its points from the free throw line and gradually took the lead, 36-35 at the end of the period.

Dana Tennis, who missed her first six shots, nailed a pair of three-pointers and a two-pointer to spark the Cougar offense with eight points in the quarter.

“The buy-in on the defensive end has been unbelievable,” Duff said. “The way we are defending is exceptional. The last two games against teams that are hard to guard and have kids who can shoot the ball, we have gotten down in a defensive stance and decided we are going to stop someone.”

It seemed every time the Arrows would close the gap, a Cougar made a big play. Bailee Osburn hit a big bucket to extend the lead at 43-39, then following a Sullivan bucket, Kyla Willis made a pair of free throws to boost the lead to 45-41 and the Arrows would never get closer as the Cougars hit 4-of-7 shots from the floor and 7-of-11 from the line to set the final margin at 51-44.

“Offensively, I have tried to get the girls to slow down. We were close to doing all the right things tonight. I thought we made good decisions, took care of the basketball against a tough defensive team. They contest every pass and make it difficult for you,” Duff said.

Brie Miller picked up a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Willis added 11 points for the Cougars.

North plays again tonight as it travels to Parke Heritage for a boy/girl doubleheader.

SULLIVAN (44) – D. Shorter 6-11 4-6 17, Holeman 1-8 0-0 3, Povlin 0-5 0-0 0, G. Shorter 6-10 5-8 17, Smith 1-3 0-0 2, Vandergriff 2-3 1-2 5, Ravellette 0-1 0-2 0, Steward 0-5 0-0 0, Lueking 0-1 0-0 0, Ming 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 FG, 10-18 FT, 44 TP.

NORTH PUTNAM (51) – Tennis 3-12 0-0 8, Sims 1-5 4-6 6, Osburn 3-5 0-1 6, Willis 4-7 2-3 11, Miller 8-14 3-5 19, Gibson 0-0 1-2 1, Young 0-0 0-0 0, Lyons 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-43 FG, 10-17 FT, 51 TP.

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3-point shooting – SHS 2-13 (D. Shorter 1-5, Holeman 1-6, G. Shorter 0-1, Steward 0-1), NP 3-11 (Tennis 2-9, Sims 0-1, Willis 1-1) Rebounds – SHS 32 (D. Shorter 4, Lueking 2, Holeman 1, Povlin 4, Smith 6, Vandergriff 6, Steward 1) NP – 30 (Tennis 3, Sims 3, Osburn 5, Willis 4, Miller 10, Lyons 1) FG Pct. – SHS 34.0, NP 44.2. FT Pct. – SHS 55.6, NP 58.9. Turnovers – SHS 22, NP 25.

Boys’ game

The Golden Arrow boys heated up a chilly night in the first quarter at North Putnam Friday night. Sullivan racked up 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting in the first quarter en route to defeating the Cougars 82-50.

North fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in WIC play. The Arrows improved to 4-0 and 2-0 in conference play.

The two teams certainly made use of the three-point line in the first quarter, combining to hit 10 treys in the period. In addition, the Arrows added two old-fashioned three-point plays in racing out to a 32-15 lead.

Kevin Figg scored 13 of his game-high 35 points for Sullivan, while Chris Murray tried to keep the Cougars in the game by hitting all three of his three-point attempts in the quarter.

“It was like Wednesday (loss to Covenant Christian), when a team came out and played harder than us,” North Putnam coach Collin McCartt said. “That is on me. I take the blame on that. I didn’t have us prepared to play.”

Sullivan cooled off a little in the second quarter, but still put up 16 points. The Arrows efficiently scored the basketball and their defense really stifled the Cougars. The Arrows lead grew as North was only able to muster six points in the second period. The Cougars hit one field goal, while missing 15 shots. North was able to salvage a little by hitting all four of its free throws, but Sullivan’s lead expanded to 48-21 at the half.

“We just didn’t get out and defend them like we should. They hit some shots, but we didn’t contest them very much when they hit those three’s early,” McCartt said.

Sullivan wasted no time putting this game away early in the second half. The Arrows scored the first six points of the third quarter to take the lead up to 54-21, eventually ballooning the margin to 32 points as the quarter ended with Sullivan up 62-30.

North will travel tonight to Parke Heritage as part of a boys/girls doubleheader. Playing again so soon is a positive according to Coach McCartt.

“I told them the good thing was, we get to play again tomorrow. We need to get the taste of this one out of our mouth.”

SULLIVAN (82) – B. Pirtle 3-3 2-5 8, Kelley 6-9 3-4 16, Simpson 2-5 1-1 5, Thrasher 4-9 1-1 11, Figg 14-17 4-7 35, S. Pirtle 0-2 0-0 0, Roshel 1-7 0-2 2, Hornback 1-2 0-0 2, G. Pirtle 1-1 0-0 2, King 0-0 1-2. Totals 32-55 FG, 12-22 FT, 82 TP.

NORTH PUTNAM (50) – Murray 3-8 1-2 10, Huff 1-3 0-1 2, Davies 2-7 2-2 6, Duncan 0-3 0-0 0, An. Pickel 5-15 4-5 17, Aa. Pickel 3-8 1-3 9, J. Huffman 1-3 2-4 4, A. Huffman 0-3 0-0 0, Smith 1-1 0-3 2, Spence 0-0 0-0 0, Chandler 0-0 0-0. Totals 16-51 FG, 10-20 FT, 50 TP.

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3-point shooting – SHS 6-17 (Kelley 1-1, Simpson 0-2, Thrasher 2-4, Figg 3-3, Roshel 0-6, Hornback 0-1) NP – 8-19 (Murray 3-4, Duncan 0-2, An. Pickel 3-8, Aa. Pickel 2-4, A. Huffman 0-1) Rebounds – SHS 47 (B. Pirtle 5, Kelley 3, Simpson 4, Thrasher 5, Figg 9, S. Pirtle 7, G. Pirtle 1, Roshel 4, Hornback 6) NP – 26 (Murray 4, Huff 1, Davies 1, Duncan 1, An. Pickel 7, Aa. Pickel 4, J. Huffman 1, Smith 3) FG Pct. – SHS 58.2, NP 31.4. FT Pct. – SHS 54.5, NP 50.0. Turnovers – SHS 19, NP 13.