HENRY — The Putnam County boys basketball team was not about to give Lowpoint-Washburn any hope of getting an upset Tuesday in a quarterfinal of the Class 1A Henry Regional as the Panthers steamrolled the Wildcats for an 86-31 victory.
DePue gave Woodland everything it wanted and more before falling to the Warriors 48-34 in the other quarterfinal.
No. 2-seeded Putnam County and No. 3-seeded Woodland will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Putnam County 86, Lowpoint-Washburn 31
Any time a team has faced and beaten a team as soundly as the Panthers beat Lowpoint-Washburn in a previous meeting, it’s easy for a team to lose focus and look ahead to their next opponent.
The Panthers did not allow that to happen Tuesday as they demolished the Wildcats 86-31 to earn a place in the semifinals.
Cody Veronda hit a 3-pointer right out of the gates and set the tone for the night.
Moments later, the Panthers came right back down the floor and got an old-fashioned three-point play from Evan Kreiser for a 10-2 lead.
“We talked about not having a let down of any kind tonight,” Putnam County coach Josh Nauman said. “We wanted to stay focused and get the job done, and I think everyone on this team contributed a lot. We dressed 15 players and all 15 got in to the scoring column. We came in and the kids got the job done well tonight.”
Things didn’t get any easier for the Wildcats as the night wore on.
Harold Fay delivered a nice pass in the post to Kreiser for a bucket, and then Xavier Warren picked up one of his eight steals on the night and converted a layup for a 16-4 lead.
The Wildcats got a couple of jump shots from Austin Seckler, but it did little to slow the Panthers down as they cruised to a 25-6 lead after the first period.
In the second quarter and beyond it was the same over and over for the Panthers and Wildcats.
Veronda drained back-to-back 3-pointers in the second to push the lead to 35-6.
The Wildcats had 10 points and 19 turnovers in the first half as they trailed 48-10 at the break.
“We talked about one of our goals before the game was we wanted to break our season high of 34 turnovers caused in a game,” Nauman said. “I think at one point we had 34 with time remaining so it’s nice to see the kids’ hard work pay off.”
The Panthers pestered Lowpoint-Washburn into 38 turnovers.
Veronda led everyone in scoring with 16 points, while Wes Allison and Kreiser had nine each.
Woodland 48, DePue 34
Turnovers came in bunches at times for the Little Giants, and in the end, that’s what ended up finishing their season.
“This was a new offense that we put in just for this game,” DePue coach Gilbert Moreno said. “The last time we played Woodland they beat us by 37 points, so we wanted to run an offense where we were slashing to the basket, and at times it worked and other times it looked like we just put in a new offense and we turned the ball over, but overall I am very happy with the way we played tonight.”
In the opening quarter, the Little Giants did just what they were asked to do and did not turn the ball over much.
Isaac Reyes picked up a steal and layup to make it a 6-4 Woodland lead.
Zane Noonan scored all six of his points in the opening quarter, which helped the Warriors take a 10-6 lead after eight minutes.
DePue used its speed in the second quarter as Jesse Lopez raced ahead of the field for a layup.
Jon Hays then got hot for the Warriors, notching 10 of his game-high 17 points in the quarter to help Woodland to 24-16 halftime lead.
The Little Giants came out like gang busters to start the second half.
Ivan Mendez and Reyes each picked up steals and layups followed by back-to-back fast-break layups from Lopez to cut the deficit to 31-28.
Alex Erschen later drained a big 3-pointer to give the Warriors a six-point lead heading into the final quarter.
The Little Giants were back trailing in double digits when layups by Alex Lopez and Reyes once again trimmed the Warriors’ lead to single digits at 39-32.
Then the turnover bug once again got the best of the Little Giants and Woodland regained control of the game.
DePue was led in scoring by Reyes with nine followed by Lopez and Mendez with eight each.
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.