Kingsmen runners-up in Bend
Putnam hoopsters hold their own with the best in Class 5A
BEND - The Rex Putnam Kingsmen made a respectable showing at the recent Summit Invitational boys basketball tournament, finishing runner-up to Corvallis, the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A.
The Kingsmen defeated Ashland 61-55 and Churchill 42-39 to advance to the tournament final, where they fell to Corvallis 53-44.
'We were within 4 points [of Corvallis] with two minutes left,' said Putnam assistant coach Tyler Rose. 'But we had tired legs after playing three games in three days, and they pulled away in the last minute and a half.'
The win over Churchill was a real confidence-builder for the Kingsmen, because Churchill was ranked 10th in Class 5A.
Trailing Churchill 22-14 at halftime, the Kingsmen turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and rallied to the victory.
'We played a nine-man rotation and [Churchill players] got tired,' said Rose.
Senior post Ali Mihub had a big game, scoring a team-high 14 points and hauling down a dozen rebounds.
Defensive pressure proved the difference in a come-from-behind win over Ashland. Trailing 34-21 at halftime, the Kingsmen turned to an aggressive full-court press midway through the third period. The press paid huge dividends in the fourth quarter, when the Kingsmen out-scored the Grizzlies 31-11.
'Our guys were flying around on defense,' said Rose. 'It was an amazing comeback. Summit had 19 turnovers and a lot of them were in the fourth quarter.'
Rose said that senior guard Chris Hanson ignited the comeback effort.
'Chris had three steals [in the fourth quarter] and he forced three or four more,' Rose said.
Kevin Schwartz and Jake Rickert headed the offense with 16 points apiece. Rickert also came through with four steals. He tallied a team-high 11 points in the pivotal fourth period.
Ali Mihub scored a game-high 15 points in the loss to Corvallis.
Mihub paced the Kingsmen in scoring for the tournament, averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Schwartz averaged 9 points and 4 assists. Rickert averaged 8.5 points and 4 steals; senior post James Clift averaged 6 rebounds.
'This team has really improved since the beginning of the season,' said Rose. 'They're playing very well together as a team right now.'
Putnam girls went 1-2 at the Summit Tournament.
They defeated Summit 80-62, but came up short in games with seventh-ranked Churchill (62-55) and with Thurston (67-45).
The Kingsmen gave Churchill a run for its money despite falling behind 20-9 in the first quarter. They rallied back to tie the score at halftime and they trailed by just 3 points heading into the final period.
Sami Parr tallied 20 points to lead three Kingsmen who reached double figures in scoring.
Miranda Martine (18 points) and Parr (16 points) led four Putnam players in double figures against Summit.
The Kingsmen led 48-18 at halftime and they coasted home from there.
The contest with Thurston was close until the fourth quarter, when Putnam got out-scored 25-10. Miranda Martine paced Putnam in scoring with 13 points.
'We had 25 turnovers and we were missing shots we never miss,' Putnam coach Mike Pomerenke said of the Thurston game.