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By David Sharp
Putnam County (4-0) answered an early 7-0 North Shelby run in kind. The Midgets reeled off a string of seven unanswered points. Putnam County led 20-13 after one period and powered to a 79-58 win in the boys championship game of the 4th Annual Tri-Rivers Classic tournament at Schuyler County.
Putnam County closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run. Putnam County takeaways led to a 29-17 Midget edge with 4:50 remaining in the first half. Putnam County rebounding helped put the Midgets up 39-28 at the half.
Putnam County turned on the jets in the third quarter. Putnam County steals and second chance points led to a 58-38 lead at the one minute mark of the third quarter. The Midgets held a 61-41 lead at the three quarter pole.
Owen Ream buried a Midget home run ball for a 71-44 lead with 4:32 to play in the game. Brendyn McDaniel and Carson Orr answered with a six point streak. Putnam County led by a 75-55 tally with 3:10 to play in the game.
The Midgets led by as many as 24 points in the second half. “They played a heck of a game,” North Shelby head coach Landon Daniel said. “They shot the ball extremely well. (Zach Heidenwith) really went off. We were focused on (Midget center Landon Wood). We thought we held him in check. That kid stepped up,” Coach Daniel said of tournament MVP Zach Heidenwith.
“I thought they played really well as a team,” Daniel said of the fast starting Midgets. “Credit to Coach (Kyle) Fleshman. We are really good friends. Our guys played hard. I think we lost our legs a little bit.”
“We have had two practices. We are in a different shape. I told the guys I cannot be more proud of them than I am. We are in a weird situation. We went from playing in the seventh place game last year to being in the championship game this year.”
North Shelby played in the 8-Man Football state semifinals last week. The Raiders had a banner year with a 10 game win streak. “When we get Robert Uhlmeyer back, we are going to be a really talented team.”
I guess what we are missing is one more guard. We can run more sets,” Daniel said. “The guys will stick with it in practice. We have an exciting next week. We are going to play in the Norm Stewart Classic.”
Legendary Missouri University basketball coach Norm Stewart is a native of Shelbyville. “Norm is going to be there. He is going to talk to us. We are pretty stoked and happy to have four days of practice before we go to that.”
Zach Heidenwith led all scorers with 21 Putnam County points. Owen Ream put in 16 Midget points. Landon Wood powered home 14 points. Gage Pearson scored 10 Putnam County points. Lance Fowler added seven PC points.
JD Rich led North Shelby with 17 points. Kyle Smith was in double digits with 13 points. Orr fired in eight points. McDaniel scored seven points. Noah Greenwell and Landon Bender added four points each.
Raiders vs. Brookfield
North Shelby dominated Brookfield in the first round of the classic, 75-45.
McDaniel led NS with 27 points. He made five out of the six 3-pointers he attempted. Bender had 10. Bender had five steals in the game.
The Raiders outscored Brookfield 39-20 in the first half and tallied 36 points in the second half.
North Shelby vs. Eagles
In the second round of the classic the Raiders played Knox County and came out with a 47-44 win.
McDaniel led NS with 12 points followed by Orr with 10.
North Shelby had a 32-20 lead to end the first half.
Both teams each scored 13 points in the third period. The Eagles outscored NS 11-2 in the final period.