South Putnam brings win streak into county tourney

As he prepares to lead the South Putnam boy's basketball team into his first county tournament, coach Josh Estridge is pleased with where his team sits.

After opening the season 0-4, the Eagles are currently 6-10 ahead of Thursday's Putnam County Boy's Basketball Tournament, where they will play host Greencastle at 6 p.m. 

The Eagles opened the new year on a four game skid, but will bring a two game winning streak into the county tournament, knocking off both Dugger Union and Riverton Parke. 

"As a team, we are continuing to improve on both sides of the ball.  All of our players continue to improve," Estridge told The Putnam County Post.

Leading the way for South Putnam has been Drew Hill, who is averaging 15.5 points per game. After him, Estridge notes it has been several other players helping out. 

"He has also taken a hold of our team's leadership role and is really bringing our young guys along. Wyat Mullin continues to be steady at the guard position. He is scoring more and taking care of the basketball. All while usually having a tough assignment on defense.  Cameron Bozell is shooting really well from the outside.  He is shooting 43 percent from the field," Estridge said.

The first year coach said his players are figuring out their roles and contributing as the calendar flips to February. 

"I like where we are at, and I am not surprised. We have a team where only a few guys had varsity experience going into the season.   We just need to stay the course, practice hard, and continue to go after our goals we set at the beginning of the season and mid-season," Estridge said. 

One of those goals is to cut down the nets at the county tournament, but the Eagles have a huge task in front of them in Greencastle. Estridge described the Tiger Cubs as a "really tough basketball team."

"They have a lot of guys that can score in multiple ways. They are also long and really athletic. That can make it hard to scheme or get matched up to stop them.  They are also entering the tournament playing really well.  They have won five of their last seven.  The two losses were to solid 3A teams and they just recently scored 91 against Brown County.  I would say they are playing some of their best basketball of the season.  It is also a big rivalry game and we are looking forward to the challenge," Estridge admitted. 

The first time the two teams played this year, Greencastle picked up a 49-35 win over South Putnam.  

"The first time we played those guys in their gym, we struggled to score the basketball. The main key for me is we have to score more than we did in the first matchup to win.  It is also going to take us not turning the basketball over, staying out of foul trouble, and rebounding.  All of those aspects of the game are going to be challenges that we look forward to taking head on," Estridge said. 

And, he acknowledged the Eagles have to do several things if they want to cut down the nets.  

"In order to cut down the nets we are going to have to shoot a high percentage, limit our turnovers, get to the free throw line, make every shot the opposing team attempts a tough shot, rebound, and be tough.  Easier said than done, but our team is excited for the opportunities this week," Estridge said. 





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