DEPUE — The DePue Little Giants hosted Putnam County Friday night wrapping up regular-season play. While DePue was able to keep it respectable for their Senior Night, they were never very close, losing 74-57.
The Panthers’ Harold Fay was the game’s high scorer with 25 points. Jose Reya led DePue with 13 points.
Both teams had multiple players posting double digits. Fellow Panther’s Cody Veranda and Xavier Warren had 13 points each. DePue’s Austin Zimmer and Alex Lopes had 10 points each. DePue senior Jesus Torres earned his first points of the season with two late free throws.
“You can’t ask any more of them than that. We had too many turnovers. That is what really hurt us. We were talking about it at halftime. If we didn’t have that many turnovers, it would have been closer than 14. But they did alright. Putnam County is a very good team. They’ve been ranked in the Top 25 in the state. The boys did really well,” DePue coach Gilbert Moreno said.
Panther’s coach Josh Nauman said, “Everybody had a lot of minutes, and hopefully, this will get us ready to go for the regional. We didn’t play our best game of the year by far. But, it was nice for everybody to get lots of playing time. Harold Fay played a tremendous game tonight. It just seemed like we had a hard time getting some emotion and enthusiasm.”
The Panthers began the game the only way they know how by hitting two quick threes. DePue was able to spread it around a little bit with four players scoring in the first quarter. It was not enough to keep up with the sharp-shooting Panthers. At the end of the first, the Panthers led 21-11, and they never gave up their cushion.
In the second quarter, the Panthers did not shoot as well. But, they made up for it by attacking the offensive glass and getting second shot opportunities. DePue had a good quarter, but they needed more than that to make this one a contest. At half time, the Panthers led 37-23.
The third quarter was more of the same from the Panthers. DePue had their best period of the game putting up 17 points. Unfortunately for the Little Giants, the Panthers matched their performance. The Panthers got ahead by as many as 25 points, but DePue managed to cut that down quite a bit. At the end of three, the margin was still at 14 points, 54-40.
Both teams put in their bench players to close the game out. They traded shots with the Panthers somewhat lethargic, and DePue playing as hard as they could.
Reflecting on the season, Moreno said, “Our (past few) seasons have really been pretty bad. We won six games. I was hoping for more. But, we usually start four juniors and one senior. So we have guys coming back. Things are a little brighter for next year. “
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