Putnam girls come out on top of wild fourth quarter, tip Milwaukie, 63-60
Putnam's Maddie Olma was in the right place at the right time in the waning seconds of Friday's Northwest Oregon Conference road game against Milwaukie.
Not once, but twice.
Olma intercepted a pair of passes intended for Milwaukie's Cali Denson, got fouled after each steal, and made three of four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help seal the No. 8 Kingsmen's 63-60 victory over the Mustangs.
Olma scored 13 of her team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and Mimi Booth also finished in double figures with 12 points for the Kingsmen (12-7, 6-2 NWOC), who withstood a furious comeback by the Mustangs to complete a sweep of the two-game season series with their crosstown rivals.
"We played well in the first half, but the second, we definitely let up," Olma said. "We needed to play better defense throughout, but we pulled it out in the end, so it's OK."
Denson led all scorers with 32 points for the Mustangs, who trailed 20-2 early in the second quarter and then rallied to take a 49-46 lead when Denson knocked down two free throws with 5:26 to play in the fourth quarter.
The lead changed hands nine times in the final 4:28 with Putnam taking the lead for good, 59-58, on Ashlyn Bigbee's basket with 28 seconds remaining.
After Milwaukie called a timeout with 17 seconds left, Olma intercepted a pass intended for Denson, got fouled, and made one of two free throws to push Putnam's lead to 60-58 with nine seconds left.
On the ensuing inbound play, Olma again got to a pass intended for Denson, again got fouled, and this time made both free throws to make it 62-58 with seven seconds to play.
Denson made two free throws with five seconds left to keep Milwaukie's hope alive, and when Booth made only one of two free throws for Putnam with 3.1 seconds remaining, the door was still open. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, a traveling violation spoiled any chance they had to send the game to overtime.
"It really came down to the fire that we played with down the stretch," Putnam coach Amanda Wiedeman said. "Maddie Olma stepped up and came up with some big steals. Once that happened, everything chance.
"It's a Friday night rivalry game and we decided to rest when we were up 20-2 and then we went flat and had to figure it out. But the girls did great. It wasn't pretty, but it was great."
Milwaukie's Aubrey Miller finished with 11 points, and Ella Hill and Polly Ruaugust added six points each for the Mustangs.
"That was crazy, intense," Denson said. "I don't know why, but every time we play Putnam, we dig a hole for ourselves in the beginning. It's like we make the game seem like it's bigger than what it really is, so we all just make little mental mistakes."
Denson, the Mustangs' sophomore guard, also became Milwaukie's all-time leading scorer with 1,167 points, breaking the previous school record of 1,147 set by Margie Brown from 1978-81.
PUTNAM 18 14 10 21 — 63
MILWAUKIE 2 15 22 21 — 60
Putnam (63) — Maddie Olma 31, Booth 12, Rope 6, Bigbee 6, McDonald 3, Weaver 3, Evans 2, Lambert.
Milwaukie (60) — Cali Denson 32, A. Miller 11, Raugust 6, Hill 6, M. Miller 4, Tuel 1, Hawkes.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.