The Kingsmen take care of business with Milwaukie, Sherwood
Last week was a great week for Putnams girls basketball team.
After struggling to win close games against Class 6A team in preseason, the Kingsmen last week began the Northwest Oregon Conference league season with a pair of wins, defeating Sherwood and Milwaukie, both by 39-28 margins. Both games were on the road.
Thanks to sharp shooting from downtown by 6-2 sophomore Merrily Jones and 5-7 sophomore Alexa Mulford, the Mustangs hung with the Kingsmen for a half on Friday.
Putnam was nursing only a 23-21 lead at halftime, as Jones and Mulford together hit five 3-point baskets in the first half.
But the Kingsmen defended the perimeter better after the break, and they gradually pulled away in the third and fourth stanzas. Without Mulford and Jones able to contribute from long range, the Mustangs scored just 7 points in the second half.
Putnams Haley Brandel owned the floor around Putnams basket all through the game. The 6-1 freshman finished with a game-high 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. She even blocked a couple of Jones attempts from 3-point land.
Meanwhile, Putnam 5-7 junior wing Carly Bolander excelled at both ends of the floor, sparking the Kingsmen offense with eight assists and doing a defensive number on Milwaukie senior point guard Karissa Delaunay. Delaunay, who had scored 20 points in a Jan. 14 Mustang win at Wilsonville, finished with just four points, and she fouled out in the third quarter.
The Kingsmen forced 25 turnovers in the game, as Milwaukie struggled against Putnams defensive pressure at both ends of the floor. Bolander had a team-high four steals on the night.
Mulford (11 points) and Jones (9 points) were Milwaukies top point-getters, each of them with three treys.
Mariah Oliver had three 3-point baskets for Putnam.
Sophomore post Julia Rivers had double digit rebounds for Milwaukie, but she had only three points on the night.
Putnam (4-7, 2-0) plays winless Parkrose (0-9, 0-2) on the road this Friday, while Milwaukie (4-7, 1-1) plays host to Liberty (4-8, 2-0).
Local teams tough in NWOC openers
Putnam and Milwaukie both won their Northwest Oregon Conference girls basketball openers, the Kingsmen winning 39-28 at Sherwood and the Mustangs winning 46-34 at Wilsonville.
Defense proved pivotal for the Kingsmen, as they held the Bowgirls to their lowest scoring game of the year, 12 points below their average.
Trailing 19-15 at the halftime break, the Kingsmen held the Bowgirls to just 9 points in the second half.
It was a really physical game, said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. We pressed and wore them down.
Leatherman said the Kingsmen also picked things up on offense in the second half, when they went more with their inside game.
Putnam 6-1 freshman post Haley Brandel scored nine of her game-high 11 points in the second half; and Putnam 5-11 sophomore post Angela Arrington scored all six of her points in the final two periods.
Led by Brandel (7-of-8), the Kingsmen were 16-of-19 from the free throw line.
Ali Schooley had eight points and three assists.
Arrington hauled down 10 rebounds. Oliver and Kelsea Baton headed up the defense, with 11 steals between them. Sherwood had 30 turnovers in the loss.
Senior guard Karissa Delaunay carried the Mustangs on her back in Milwaukies win at Wilsonville, scoring a game-high 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 shooting from the free throw line. Delaunay also had four steals and three assists.
Julia Rivers and Merrily Jones ruled close to the basket, hauling down 20 rebounds between them. Jones joined Delaunay in double figures in scoring with 14 points.