Golden Arrows cruise to win at South Putnam
GREENCASTLE — Friday night at South Putnam was all about taking care of business for the Sullivan High School boys basketball team.
A 22-point night from Jackson Hills led five Sullivan players in double figures and made sure there was no slip up ahead of Monday’s clash at Greencastle as the Golden Arrows dominated the Eagles 77-45.
“Coming in, after watching film, we felt like we could put some pressure on (South Putnam),” Sullivan head coach Jeff Moore said. “We worked on our press in practice but we had only used it in one or two games before. Tonight was a game where we felt like we could use it a little bit.”
Braden Flanagan opened the game with a three, followed by a Randy Kelley steal and score and a putback from Hills that made it 7-0.
Trey Blaydes hit a jumper to get the hosts on the board but another seven-point burst made it 14-2 as Rocco Roshel hit a three and secured two steals, both leading to Kelley baskets.
Hills would score twice more after a Blaydes three as the Golden Arrows led 20-7 after a quarter of play.
South Putnam had a better second quarter as Josh Hammond opened the second period with a basket while Eli Smith added two more baskets after two free throws from Luke Adams and a Hills basket off a steal.
Smith added a three to make it 29-16 while Hills scored back-to-back baskets and Flanagan added a three to increase the SHS cushion to 36-16.
The Eagles would score the last five points of the half with Drew Hill scoring four of the five to trim the lead to 36-21.
“We worked pretty hard defensively but we still gave up too much ball penetration still,” Moore said about some of the things he wanted to see improved on for the future. “Our rotations looked pretty good at times and other times it wasn’t.
“Those are things you just have to get better with as the season goes along.”
After a trade of threes from Roshel to start the third quarter, Hills and Flanagan combined for a 10-0 run that was broken by a Smith drive.
Adams added a three and Jack Ridgway added a putback as the lead hit 30 — 56-26 heading into the final quarter of play.
The lead would grow as large as 34 off a Ridgway three-point play in the final minutes as Sullivan used the final quarter to rotate in its reserves and a third-straight win heading into the clash against Greencastle, which lost at Northview Friday.
Flanagan had 14 points, Adams 13, Kelley 12 and Roshel added 11.
Owen Valley’s loss to Cloverdale leaves the Golden Arrows as the only remaining unbeaten in WIC play though Moore said it would not be a surprise if the eventual winner had multiple slip ups along the way.
“There’s six teams in this conference that could win it,” Moore said. “Sullivan, Northview, Edgewood, Greencastle, Owen Valley, North Putnam, any of those teams could win it; two losses could win it.
“Greencastle got beat tonight and we’re 2-0 but we have eight games to play. Greencastle has already lost twice and they’re one of the best teams and a lot of it will come down to where you are playing these games at.
“We’re going to have a tough game at Greencastle on Monday but we have Northview, Edgewood, Owen Valley and West Vigo at home. Any of those teams are capable of beating us so we have to be ready.”
SULLIVAN (77) — Jackson Hills 22, Braden Flanagan 14, Luke Adams 13, Randy Kelley 12, Rooco Roshel 11, Jack Ridgway 5.
SOUTH PUTNAM (45) — Smith 12, Hill 11, Goodpaster 7, Blaydes 7, Hammond 6, Wiggins 2.
Sullivan 20 16 20 21 — 77
South Putnam 7 14 5 19 — 45