Putnam County Takes First Round District Win From Knox County
By David Sharp
Putnam County jumped out to a 23-13 first quarter lead and went on to an 81-56 win over Knox County in Class 2, District 6 first round boy’s basketball action.
The Midgets (17-8) were able to hold Knox County’s roster to eight points after three Eagles turned in double digit scoring performances.
Putnam County finished with an 18-9 overall mark, losing to Canton in the district championship game by a 66-48 margin. Putnam County had the Tigers down three points at the half.
Knox County (8-14) fought back in the third quarter after trailing 44-29 at intermission. The Eagles played within a 14-12 third quarter deficit.
Putnam County took a 58-41 lead to the final eight minutes. The Midgets fired in 23 fourth quarter points for good measure.
Sophomore Deaion Hunt scored a game high 27 Midget points. Brody Heidenwith fired in 23 points, including a three point trifecta during the fourth quarter.
Blaine Robinson scored 16 points for the two time defending Tri-Rivers Conference boy’s champions.
Seniors Nathan Goodwin, Brock Couch, Justin Reeves, Brady James and Brady Morton played their final basketball games in a Knox County uniform.
“Putnam County put together a very good basketball team. To their credit, my guys gave them a battle,” Knox County coach Garet Nunan said.
“We had multiple opportunities to drop leads to less than ten points.”
“We just never came over that hump to make it a really competitive game,” Garet Nunan said. “They didn’t want to quit. That is a credit to my guys. We just came up against a better basketball team.”
Royce Poore led the Eagles with 21 points. The freshman guard finished with 240 points, close to the 250 per season average needed to achieve the 1000 career point plateau.
Royce Poore averaged 10.9 points per game. The current ten player all conference basketball format may keep several players from the post season recognition they deserve.
“Except for Justin Reeves, there wasn’t a whole lot of varsity experience in the senior class, but there was a lot of
basketball experience,” said the former Knox County Middle School basketball coach.
“Justin Reeves is one of the best athletes in the area.”
“He drew double and triple teams all season. He dealt with some frustrating things very well. He still put up terrific numbers. He was a leader on the team. He overcame a lot. He has a lot to be proud of.”
Justin Reeves will leave Knox County High School as the starting center on one of the four boy’s district championships in school history.
“Our seniors all brought a little piece to the puzzle. Everybody worked hard,” Garet Nunan said.
“Brock Couch exceeded everyone’s expectations. He had a really good season handling and shooting the ball. There’s not a single person in the area that worked harder than Brady James.”
“He was our defensive specialist. He brought a fire and intensity to our basketball team,” Coach Nunan said of the standout track and field athlete. “Brady Morton was a really smart player. He rebounded and was an under rated passer.”
“Nathan Goodwin may not have gotten a lot of (playing) time, but you will never find a better kid. It takes more than just basketball to build a team. Nathan had a great personality. He brought a great cohesiveness to the table.” Nathan Goodwin is one of several Eagles that are standouts in other sports.
Three time all district center Justin Reeves finished his high school basketball career with 17 points. Reeves averaged 17.9 points per game and likely double digit rebounds. Brady Morton scored a season high ten points in his final game.
Senior Brock Couch scored five points. Leighton McCabe added a second quarter three pointer. Knox County started the season off by winning three of their first four conference games.
The Eagles had very little varsity experience on the court along with a first year head coach and assistant coach in Garet Nunan and Jarod Lovell. Coach Lovell is preparing for his first season as head varsity baseball coach at Knox County.
“There was a lot of inexperience on the team and in the coaching staff,” was the frank assessment of head coach Garet Nunan.
“I think our inexperience showed up in inconsistency throughout the season. We played very, very well at times. At times, we were one of the best basketball teams in the area.”
“In the end, we were just too inexperienced and inconsistent. There were situations we could have handled better,” Garet Nunan said.
“We grew as a team. I think we were definitely a better team the second half of the season. We played some really good teams.”
“We battled all season. The guys tried hard all season,” Garet Nunan said. “That says something about their character and the way they were brought up. They came to play.”