NEW MARKET — In what turned out to be a game of attrition, North Putnam girls’ basketball team prevailed over Southmont 53-45 Tuesday night at Southmont.
By the end of the game Southmont had three players on the bench with five fouls and two North Putnam players were on the floor with four fouls each. Overall, 48 fouls were whistled and 54 free throws were shot.
“We found a way to win,” North Putnam coach Jarrod Duff said. “It wasn’t pretty, but our girls fought hard, did the things they had to do and picked up the win. This team is showing they are fighters. This isn’t the first time they have won like this, this year.”
The game started off looking like the Cougars (11-9) were going to have an easy time as they raced to an 11-0 lead before an Addi Charles 3-pointer got the Mounties on the board with just over five minutes to play in the first quarter. The quarter ended with the Cougars up 21-10.
The pace slowed down some as 25 free throws were shot between the two teams and the Cougars entered the halftime with a 36-27 lead. In that second quarter, 18 of the 32 points scored by the two teams were scored from the foul line.
“Our lack of defensive effort in the first half was terrible,” Southmont coach Dustin Oakley said. “We gave them 36 points and they average 40 for a game. There was no effort to play defense and especially in the first eight minutes of the game.”
In the second half the Mounties (4-13) outscored the Cougars 18-17 and managed to tie the game on a Claire Remley 3-pointer with 51 seconds in the third quarter. However a steal and lay-up by freshman guard Kyla Willis gave the Cougars a 42-40 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Willis was a key factor in the fourth quarter and she came up with at least four steals at critical times. In addition, she scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the final period. The only other points in the quarter came from junior guard Hannah Sims, who also reached double figures with 14 thanks to hitting 12-of-14 from the foul line.
“We put them at the foul line way too much,” Oakley said. “Yes, we made a run at them but you can’t put yourself in such a bad position and expect to win games.”
After putting Southmont at the foul line 16 times in the first half, North Putnam played a little better defense in the second half and the Mounties went to the line just twice, hitting them both.
Southmont was led in scoring by Lilly Ward who had 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out.
“We put them at the line too much in the first half and we played better half-court defense in the second half,” Duff said. That is something we are going to have to do in order to win games from here on out. We can’t give teams opportunities at the foul line like we did in the first half. I was proud of the way the girls responded and did a better job later in the game.”
The win by the Cougars snapped an eight-game winning streak by the Mounties in the series and it was the first time North Putnam had beaten the Mounties on their home court since January of 2007.
Southmont battles Frankfort Thursday.
North Putnam 53, Southmont 45
North Putnam 21 15 6 11 — 53
Southmont 10 17 13 5 — 45
NORTH PUTNAM (53): Lyons 1 0-1 2, Miller 2 2-8 6, Tennis 3 0-2 8, Osburn 3 0-0 6, Willis 6 5-10 17, Sims 1 12-14 14, Young 0 0-0 0, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Day 0 0-0 0. 16-41 FG 19-35 FT 53 TP.
SOUTHMONT (45): B.Thompson 0 0-0 0, Charles 2 0-2 6, Manion 1 0-1 3, Remley 3 2-4 9, L. Ward 3 7-7 13, France 1 1-2 3, Miller 0 0-1 0, H.Thompson 1 2-2 5, E. Ward 2 0-0 6. 13-43 FG 12-19 FT 45TP.
3-Point Goals – NP 2-10 (Lyons 0-2, Tennis 2-8) ; SM 7-26 (B. Thompson 0-2, Charles 2-8, Manion 1-3, Remley 1-2, L.Ward 0-1, Miller 0-1, H.Thompson 1-4, E. Ward 2-5)