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Vikings can't snag Cougars

Jan. 5—An early hot hand from the North Putnam High School boys basketball team put West Vigo in a bind.

In the first quarter Friday, the Cougars dialed up six 3s and the Vikings never recovered in a 62-49 loss.

The Vikings (6-7) were 11/2 steps behind the Cougars as they created open shots with a quick burst off the catch before elevating for pull-ups.

The Cougars made 10 3s in the game.

"I thought that coming into the game, we knew they were mainly going to shoot 3s and layups," West Vigo guard Talan Boehler said. "We tried to prepare for that. I thought, from my perspective, we played decent defense in the first quarter and first half. I'll give it to them.

"They can shoot it. They shot lights out."

After the game opened up from deep for the Cougars, the Vikings were stretched the rebound on the defensive glass.

North Putnam sophomore Isaac Pickel, at 6-foot-6, was a perpetual threat on the offensive glass in the second quarter.

"[Our coaching staff] said he had about seven or eight offensive rebounds in the first half," West Vigo coach Joe Boehler said. "That was one of our emphasis coming in. Every time a shot goes up, we need to get a body on him and we lost him on multiple occasions. That just killed us."

With 1:18 left in the third quarter the Cougars put the game away at 49-27 on an and-one.

"We always know that North Putnam is a difficult place to play at," said Talan Boehler, who had 12 points from four 3s. "Coming out of the [Wabash Valley Classic], we didn't play as well as we wanted to play in there."

North Putnam (4-7) snapped a two-game losing skid.

The Vikings have dropped four of their past six games. They were led in scoring by senior Zeke Tanoos with 25 points as he hit 3s late in the game with the outcome decided.

The Vikings had tough sledding getting a consistent flow on offense against the Cougars, a byproduct of failure to get stops on the other end, coach Boehler said.

"We've got to become a better defensive team, a better rebounding team," Joe Boehler said. "I think if we can take care of that end, the offensive side will become a little bit easier for us because we wouldn't be playing from behind so much."

In the girls game played earlier Friday, North Putnam defeated the Vikings 53-46.