Putnam girls roll past Parkrose in NWOC opener
Four players scored in double figures for the Kingsmen in Friday's 70-33 blowout win over the Broncos at Putnam High School
MILWAUKIE -- Putnam's girls' basketball team stuck to its usual game plan, which was more than Parkrose was prepared to handle Friday night.
Abigail Paul scored a game-high 18 points and three other Putnam players also scored in double figures as the Kingsmen blitzed the Broncos 70-33 in Friday's Northwest Oregon Conference opener at Putnam High School.
Megan Spaulding finished with 13 points and Margaret Batz added 12 off the Putnam bench to help the Kingsmen (8-2, 1-0 NWOC) run their winning streak to three games.
Tajaliayh Briggs scored a team-high 11 points and Jewell Boland had six for the Broncos (3-6, 0-1).
Putnam, playing for the first time in 10 days, needed a few minutes to shake off some rust and adjust to Parkrose's relentless and often frenetic full-court pressure.
After a slow start, the Kingsmen used a 13-0 run to take a 17-6 lead with two minutes to play in the first quarter, and then closed the half on a 16-4 burst that extended the lead to 35-17.
"Parkrose has a difficult style to play against," Kingsmen coach Brad Miller said. "They try to speed you up and count on you getting disorganized and rushed, and making you make mistakes.
"I think we played into that a little bit. Then we settled down at times, and when we did settle down, we put it to them pretty good."
Spaulding, the 5-foot-9 senior, scored six of her 13 points in the third quarter as the Kingsmen extended the lead to 53-23.
"The most important thing still is for us to play the way we want to play," Miller said. "I think we have a good sense for what our team identity is and I think we know how we need to play to win.
"I think that's the challenge for us. It's not scheming and strategizing for this team or that team. I think the challenge for us every night is to go out and make the other team play our game. If we do that, we will be fine."
Parkrose lacked the offensive firepower to keep pace with Putnam. The Broncos had some success in forcing turnovers after made baskets, but struggled when it came to half-court sets, whether they were on offense or on defense.
"Early in the second quarter, we just slowed down," Broncos coach Zach Winterspring said. "Our game is speed, speed, speed. There's a reason we were averaging 51 points a game. Then we score 33 tonight. That is not our game."
Putnam's defense had something to do with Parkrose's offensive woes, although Winterspring said the Broncos also had an unusually high number of unforced errors.
"Putnam played great, but most of our problems were self-inflicted," he said. "I'm not saying we were going to win tonight, but we're not supposed to lose by 37. There's no reason for that.
"My hat is off to Putnam. When they got the ball up the floor, they knew exactly how to pass it around so we couldn't trap them in the half court."
Winterspring also took a stab at Mother Nature, bemoaning the practice time that his team has lost due to the inclement weather and the recent holiday break.
"We desperately need practice," he said. "We've had seven practices and seven games over the past four weeks. We're the team that came into the season very inexperienced, very young, and with a lot of room to improve in the basketball IQ department.
"I don't want to say we need practice more than other teams, but we need practice more than other teams."
For the Broncos, this season is as much about development as it is about wins and losses.
"We already have three times as many wins as we had last year, but we're still trying to get those wins," Winterspring said. "Six of the league's eight teams make into into the postseason in one realm or another. We're looking to be one of those teams."