Cougars come up short at home to Athenians
ROACHDALE-- The North Putnam Cougars boys' basketball team showed up to play Saturday night, but only shot 9-of-36 from the field and 9-of-16 from the free-throw strike. A close game turned into a loss, 44-30, to a struggling Crawfordsville Athenian team.
"They just made a few more plays than we did," coach Collin McCartt said. "I thought we played really well. We had some open shots, but we just didn't make them. I thought our guys came ready to play, our attitude was great, I thought their intensity was great, I thought we played with poise and I know it's disappointing for them not to be where they want to be on the scoreboard."
The Cougars (0-5) went back-and-forth with the Athenians (1-4) in the first half, taking the lead four times before going down 15-12 at the break. Junior Austin Judy and sophomore Jordan Bean each had four points. Crawfordsville's Konnor Smith led all scorers at the time with six.
It came down efficiency with North Putnam shooting a lower percentage from both the field and free throw line.
"They hit some shots," McCartt said. "That's what it came down to. We get to come back into practice and our shooting is a skillset we definitely need to improve on. We finally got a full week of practice ahead and then we got Christmas Break. I'm looking forward to that because I think our guys will make a lot of strides. I think we can get on the practice floor and really make some improvements."
Sophomore Trent Johnson erupted in the half with three three-pointers and 13 points total for the Athenians. He finished just two rebounds short of a double-double.
"I don't know that (pressure) affected us that much," McCartt said. "I thought we moved the ball pretty well. I just think there were some shots we didn't hit. There was probably an offensive adjustment I should've made a little bit earlier, but other than that I didn't think we were tentative. Tonight we attacked."
After the Athenians got up by double figures, the Cougars came back to within seven with 3:39 left in the game, but the final three-pointer by Johnson ended any hopes of getting closer.
Good free throw shooting helped Crawfordsville seal the game off. Johnson hit 4-of-5 with the sixth being called off because of a lane violation. Ryan Barr also hit 1-of-2.
Michael Roberts, the Cougar leader, struggled for his second straight night scoring the majority of his points in the final two minutes. He scored seven points on 3 of 9 shooting and went an uncharacteristic 1 of 4 from the foul line.
After being dominated on the boards against Rockville Friday night, McCartt challenged his team to be like Rockville Saturday night. The plea worked and his team secured 15 offensive rebounds.
"I challenged them to look like Rockville," McCartt said. "They were unbelievable on the glass. Jordan Bean has been very active. Kyler Jeter went to the glass and Corbin Judy went there. I think they just had an attack mentality all the way around."
North Putnam's next game will be its conference opener of the season. It will square off with the Cascade Cadets at home on December 13.
At North Putnam
Crawfordsville 8 7 16 13--44
North Putnam 7 5 5 13--30
Crawfordsville: Johnson 13, Page 10, Barr 8, Smith 8, Stewart 3, Yund 2, Corbin 0, Daniels 0, Guard 0, Lucas 0.
North Putnam: A. Judy 10, Roberts 7, Bean 4, Smith 4, Jeter 3, Hall 2, C. Judy 0, Porter 0.
Crawfordsville: Barr 9, Johnson 8, Corbin 7, Stewart 5, Daniels 1, Hutson 1, Page 1, Smith 1.
North Putnam: Bean 8, C. Judy 4, Roberts 4, Jeter 3, A. Judy 3, Hall 2, Smith 1.
North Putnam girls lose on road
CAYUGA-- It is finals week for North Putnam High School and the girls' basketball team took a break from studying to travel to North Vermillion to take on the Falcons Tuesday night. After falling behind by 10 in the third quarter the Cougars rallied to get within one but lost a heartbreaker, 27-21.
The Falcons (7-3) opened up the contest with juniors Rhiannon Grubbs and Kinsey West hitting threes on the first two possessions. The Cougar (1-9) defense held solid and only allowed those two buckets.
North Putnam could not get a basket to go and leading scorer Taylor Nauert went out midway through the first quarter with two fouls. They finally scored on a Kaitlin Mindiola and-one with 45 seconds left to end the first down 6-3.
"We played well," coach Jim Spencer said. "We try to get better every game and we played well. We got a few breaks and we didn't always convert, but we kept it manageable."
The last time this happened to the Cougars, Nauert going to the bench because of fouls, the Cougars were outscored by 15 in under three minutes.
The improvements Spencer has worshipped all year showed off because only went down 10-7 at halftime.
Senior Ricki Evans came in and played well off the bench for Nauert. She had three rebounds and two assists.
"Anytime a key player goes out, tensions rise," Spencer said. "I'll say it again. Our goal is to get better and going from being down by 17 to three is as good as it gets. I'm proud of the girls."
Nauert came back in to start the third, but she turned it over twice on the first two possessions which led to Falcon scoring. Junior Sierra Grube had four points and two assists in the quarter as they went up by 10, 21-11.
"We had a few mistakes that they took advantage of," Spencer said. "In games like this you can't do that."
Spencer gathered his team around him and told them they had to do something quick. He dialed up an alley-oop style play for Nauert and junior Madisyn Smith made a perfect faked shot to Nauert for the open layup.
"We wanted to see if we could execute that play, and it worked," Spencer said.
Nauert responded by hitting a three off a pass from senior Kayla Clodfelter and Mindiola hit a shot as well.
The Cougars found themselves down one without even letting North Vermilion score.
"This team does better and better every game," Spencer said. "Before we would find ourselves down even farther and tonight things turned our way. It was a great game."
With a minute and a half left the Cougars turned the ball over and Spencer called timeout to regroup. The Falcons had still not scored.
North Vermillion passed the ball trying to take time off the clock and their coach called for no shots.
Senior Shawnacee Bowman however did not get the memo and while she was 0-for-6 on the night shooting she shot a three and drained it. The most unlikely event took place and the Falcons had scored their first points in the quarter with 55 seconds left.
"They were bound to score at some point," Spencer said. "We didn't expect it to happen that way, but we have to be ready for everything. She (Bowman) made a good shot."
Down four the Cougars couldn't score any points and they put Grube on the line. She sealed the game off, making both of her free throws, 27-21.
"Some games go our way and others won't," Spencer said. "Tonight we seen both. We responded well and really improved. Things just went against us in the third and the last few seconds. We have practice twice before we play Cascade Friday. Hopefully we will fix our mistakes and finish out there."
The Cougars will play Cascade Friday at 6 p.m. in the first game of a boys-girls doubleheader.
At North Vermilion
North Putnam 3 4 4 11-21
North Vermillion 6 4 11 6-27
North Putnam: Nauert 9, Mindiola 5, Smith 4, Clodfelter 2, Henninger 1, Evans 0.
North Vermillion: Grubbs 10, Grube 9, Bowman 3, West 3, Vicars 2, Benskin 0, Lewis 0.
North Putnam: Henninger 8, Clodfelter 4, Nauert 4, Evans 3, Smith 3, Mindiola 2.
North Vermilion: West 5, Grubbs 4, Lewis 3, Vicars 3, Bowman 2, Grube 2.
SWIMMING AND DIVING:
Tanksters Continue Their Winning Ways
The Cougar Swim and Dive Teams continued their winning ways with dominant performances against the West Vigo Vikings on Monday night. The girls won the night 98-64 and the boys outdistanced the Vikings 117-67. The team records stand at 7-2 for the girls and 8-0 for the boys.
The Cougar Swim and Dive Teams continued their winning ways over the weekend with the boys defeating Edgewood 156-121, and downing South Vermillion 156-82. The girls defeated Edgewood 97-93 and fell to a strong South vermillion squad 97-170. The girls record stands at 5-2, and the boys are 6-0.
Tanksters Keep Rolling
The Cougar Swim and Dive teams faced off with South Montgomery and North Vermillion on Tuesday, with the cougars sweeping both boys and girls meets.On the girls side the cougars defeated Southmont 151-111, while topping North Vermillion 151-50. The boys outdistanced Southmont 174-111, and defeated North vermillion 174-51. The season records stand at 4-1 for the Lady Cougars, and 4-0 for the boys.
Tanksters Continue Their Winning Ways
The Cougar Swim and Dive Teams had a successful night versus Tri-West and South Putnam Monday. The boys team swept the night defeating Tri-West 149-119, while beating South Putnam 149-79. The girls garnered a split, beating South Putnam 109-104, while coming up short against Tri-West 109-133. Both Tri-West and South Putnam easily handled the Cougar girls last year, so Monday nights results were a good indicator of the upward trajectory of the Lady Cougars. The boys team, while in rebuilding mode picked up were they left off last year. The boys have only lost two dual meets the last two seasons. The girls stand at 2-1 for the season, while the boys are 2-0.
The lady Cougar swimmers opened their season with a 110-50 win over Covenant Christian. The win was a team effort with all swimmers scoring points to help secure the win. Leading the way with two individual wins was Abby Spencer. Also picking up individual wins were Lauren Freije, Savannah Couch, Elizabeth Alford, Hannah Gray,and Krissy Dill. Combining to sweep all three relays were Abby Spencer, Lauren Freije, Krissy Dill, Elizabeth Alford, Rebecca Muse,and Samantha Freije.
Cougar wrestling team hosts Kerns Invitational Saturday
"North Putnam has hosted this invitational for several years," coach Bucky Kramer said. "This is my third year hosting this, but last year it got cancelled, so it's really my second year. It was a really good showing from all the teams and it was a pretty even match for most of the day. I know our kids got better from last week. Whiteland had a really good outing. I know there were two or three matches we should've won, but we didn't and those kids will improve this week. The invitational on the day was a good success. Every team had at least one champion. "
Besides North Putnam, Chatard, North Vermillion, Rockville and Whiteland all showed up for the meet. The goal was to have six teams, but Kramer said that was not possible this year and that hopefully next year they would pick up a new team.
Whiteland was the champion for the day finishing without a loss at 4-0. The Warriors all had seven weight class champions.
It has been traditional that the Putnam County Tournament follows the invitational and both are dual tournaments. Dual tournaments have individual prizes, but they are also wrestling for a team prize, so there should be no selfishness. Kramer likes the opportunity that this provides for his team.
"Anytime you wrestle under a dual format you get an idea of what it's like to wrestle as a team," Kramer said. "When you wrestle in an individual tournament, a one point win is as good as a pin. Here, you work on your pinning combinations. That continues to help us as a team. We are really full of super young talent. They get better every time they step on the mat, so I'm happy with them. "
Four-year wrestler, Josh Coulter was the lone champion for North Putnam with a 3-1 record in the 126 pound weight class, but he was not the only one with a good day.
"Josh has had a good week at practice and he's just continued to get better," Kramer said. "He thinks about what he is doing. He's patient. He takes his opportunities when he has them. He has a pin on the day. He wrestled well for the day and I'm very happy for him. He's wrestled four years and as a senior he's a leader. We expect him to learn and continue and he's done a nice job."
The Cougars only had three losing records for the day, but every wrestler had at least one win. Freshman Jake Scott and sophomore Ethan Winings also had three wins on the day like Coutler.
"They're doing a really good job (at stepping up)," Kramer said. "Most of our team is comprised of freshmen and sophomores who are first year kids. This is the largest team we've had at North Put since anyone can remember. Our freshman class is really talented and they will continue to get better. Our sophomores who are back have done a really nice job."
When it comes to county later this week North Putnam is the only team that fields a full roster, but the other teams have very good wrestlers, so it is not a done set title. The Cougars will have to win some matches and not just rely on forfeits. Kramer was complementary of the other head coaches around the county and envies their programs.
"In terms of county we are the only team to field a full roster," Kramer said. "In regards to that, that means we're going to get some forfeit wins. We will still have to wrestle well. The Greencastle coach is really good, the South coach is really good, and the Cloverdale kids are really well coached. We have a lot of respect for the kids in the county."
Last year was a disappointment for the county teams. Only Kyle Schaffer of South Putnam made it past regionals last year and it has been an emphasis on the teams this year to improve that.
"Last year we were all disappointed that we only sent one wrestler beyond regionals," Kramer said. "Our goal is to increase those efforts. Our efforts involve making wrestling a little more important in Putnam County."
The county has made efforts by establishing youth programs in the elementary schools and Cloverdale and North Putnam involve themselves in a friendship dual. Other students also go to wrestling clubs and participate in the ISWA wrestling championships throughout the year.
The tournament is Thursday night at Cloverdale High School with a start time of 5:30 p.m
At North Putnam
Team Champion: Whiteland (4-0)
North Putnam (2-2)
North Vermillion (1-3)
106- Brett Kenner (Whiteland)
113- Austin Denien (Whiteland)
120-Bodhi Tuttle (North Vermillion)
126- Josh Coulter (North Putnam)
132-Evan Behringer (Chatard)
138- Hunter Woolever (Chatard)
145- Tom Copeland (Whiteland)
152- Devan Brown (North Vermillion)
160- Drew Breitbach (Chatard)
170-Ike Murrell (Whiteland)
182- Ryan Hammond (Whiteland)
195- Austin Hahn (Whiteland)
220-David Hammond (Whiteland)
285-Connor Bettis (Rockville)
North Putnam records
106- Wittig 2-2
120- Culberson 2-2
126- Coutler 3-1
132- Straziscar 1-3
138- Winings 3-1
152- Malone 1-3
160- D. Binnion 1-3
170- Edwards 2-2
182- Flannelly 2-2
195- B. Binnion 2-2
220- Scheele 2-2
285- Aynes 2-2
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