Putnam coeds are off to a 4-0 start in league

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen last week continued to take the Northwest Oregon Conference by storm in girls basketball, upping their league record to 4-0 with convincing wins over Sandy (38-20) and St. Helens (62-34)

Heading into play this week, Putnam (6-7, 4-0) was alone atop the NWOC standings. Liberty (5-9, 3-1), Milwaukie (6-7, 3-1) and Sherwood (8-5, 3-1) were tied for second place.

Putnam was to meet winless St. Helens on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The Kingsmen close out the first half of the league season, hosting Liberty at 7:15 p.m. this Friday, and Sherwood next Tuesday.

Defense was the name of the game in last week’s showdown with Sandy. The Kingsmen held the Pioneers (7-6, 2-2) to only eight field goals and a season-low 20 points. Sandy had entered the contest averaging 43 points for its first 11 games.

The Kingsmen dominated the backboards and they forced no fewer than 30 turnovers.

“We didn’t get that many steals,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “But we forced a lot of turnovers. They’d throw the ball away, or travel.”

Putnam freshman post Haley Brandel hauled down eight rebounds and rejected three shots. Senior Shelby VanLeuven, who stands 5-foot-6, came off the bench to claimed seven rebounds. She also scored 9 points.

Putnam senior playmaker Mariah Oliver (two 3-pointers) was tough at the offensive end, scoring a game-high 10 points and dishing out five assists. Senior Kelsea Baton added nine points; senior Ali Schooley was credited with four assists.

The Kingsmen took charge from the outset, building an 11-4 lead in the first quarter and an 18-7 lead by halftime.

Kaylee Barnett was the top point-getter for Sandy. The senior wing scored 9 points, connecting three times from beyond the arc.

Last Friday’s game at Parkrose was a cakewalk. Putnam was up 18-8 at the end of the first period, 38-14 at halftime, and reserves took over for the Kingsmen before the third period was over.

Brandel (13 points, 7 rebounds), Oliver (10 points, 4 assists, 4 steals) and Schooley (10 points, 7 assists, 3 steals) led ten Putnam players who put points on the scoreboard.

Vasquez’ 20 points

is not enough

Putnam’s boys basketball team continued to struggle last week, losing 64-43 at 11th-ranked Sandy on Jan. 21, and 82-69 in a Friday home game to an until-then winless team from Parkrose.

Parkrose took charge in the second quarter, using unconscious shooting to outscore Putnam 37-18 in the period. Four different Parkrose players combined to hit five 3-pointers in the second quarter, as the Broncs surged to a 52-32 halftime advantage.

Led by Caleb Vandermeer (22 points) and Marshawn Edwards (21 points), the Broncos converted at better than a .500 clip from the field. Vandermeer was 10-of-13 from the free throw line.

Freshman David Vasquez led the Kingsmen attack, hitting 11-of-15 free throws and scoring a team-high 20 points.

Calvin Spencer (15 points) was big in the fourth quarter, hitting three 3-pointers as the Kingsmen attempted to rally, with a 28-point quarter.

Kane Stephens (14 points) also scored in double figures.

Putnam guys (1-12, 0-4) play Liberty (9-5, 3-1) on the road this Friday.

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