Birds Roll Past Panthers To Tourney Title

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Southwestern's Korrie Hopkins and Rylee Smith combined for 41 points in a lopsided 55-25 win over Litchfield in the Saturday afternoon finale of the 21st Annual Litchfield High School Girls Basketball Thanksgiving Tournament played in Simmons Gym. 

Coach Steve Wooley's Piasa Birds made a clean sweep in the five-team round robin, having defeated Nokomis by 20 points in game one on Nov. 23, followed by a 35-point decision over Staunton in game four on Nov 25. 

The Birds came right back in game five on Nov. 26 and buried Carlyle by 43 points. They were idle on November 29, but picked up where they left off and preserved their perfect 4-0 record with the 30-point win over the tournament hosts.

Korrie Hopkins was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. The talented 5'11" junior forward scored 54 points in four games. Named to the all-tournament team were Molly Diekemper of Carlyle, Macee Eisenbarth of Nokomis, Rylee Smith of Piasa SW, Hollie Bekeske of Staunton and Emily Senjan of Litchfield.

Nokomis defeated Staunton 39-28 in the preliminary game on Nov. 30, and finished the tourney with a record of 2-2. The Redskins bested Carlyle 32-28 in game three on Nov. 25. Their losses were to Southwestern in the opening tournament game ,played on Nov. 23, and to Litchfield on Nov. 29.

Litchfield's only tournament loss came at the hands of Southwestern. They posted a 26-point win over Carlyle in game two, played on Nov. 23, and beat Staunton by 11 on Nov. 26, followed by a 13-point win over Nokomis on Nov. 29.

Staunton's only win of the tourney was a 27-point decision over Carlyle on Nov. 29. The Carlyle Indians were winless.

Saturday's tournament finale featured two South Central Conference foes who entered game ten with identical 3-0 records. It appeared it would be a close contest at the end of the first quarter as both teams put up ten points in the period, but the basket lid closed for the Panthers as shot after shot found the rim but eluded passage through the bottom of the net. 

Litchfield's Carly Boden scored the only basket in the second period and it dropped with just 2:19 left in the quarter. Meanwhile it was Hopkins and Smith who would carry the scoring load for the Birds as Hopkins netted seven points, including a three, while Smith had a trey and a deuce.

Leading 22-10 at the half, the Birds became dominant in the third quarter with Rylee Smith pouring in half of her team's 16 points while Emily Senjan would sink one of two free throws at the 5:17 mark and add a bucket at the 3:26 mark. Piasa would add six more points to their total and take a commanding 38-15 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Piasa lead swelled to 46-18 at 4:29 and Coach Rob Corso subbed in sophomores Carly Guinn and Lily Braasch, freshman Laura Boston and junior Kate Komor, with Senjan remaining in the game. Guinn would connect for a three and Komor would add two points while Senjan added 3 of 4 free throws. 

Rylee Smith captured scoring honors for Southwestern with 21 points, followed closely by the tournament's MVP with 20. The Birds connected for 24-of-52 shots from the floor, including 5-of-21 from beyond the arc. Scoring in the paint became all too familiar in the second half as they dropped in 34 up close.

Emily Senjan was the scoring leader for Litchfield with 12 points, eight of which came at the free-throw line. The Panthers put up 36 shots, but only five found their mark. In comparison to the Piasa Birds, the purple and white managed just 12 points in the paint and Carly Guinn's three point basket late in the fourth quarter was the only trey that would be recorded in the game.

Now 5-1 on the season, Litchfield will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 3, when they travel to Williamsville to face the Lady Bullets.

November 30 at Litchfield

Litchfield Thanksgiving Tournament

Southwestern 10 12 16 17 55

Litchfield 10 2 3 10 25

Southwestern (55) - Rylee Smith 21, Korrie Hopkins 20, Josie Bouillon 4, Morgan Durham 4, Natalie Keith 2, Annie Gallaher 2, Whitney Keith 2. Totals: 24 2-4 55.

Litchfield (25) - Emily Senjan 12, Becky Painter 4, Carly Boden 4, Carly Guinn 3, Kate Komor 2. Totals: 8 (8-11) 25.

Three-point field goals: Southwestern (5) - Rylee Smith 3, Josie Bouillon 1, Korrie Hopkins 1. Litchfield (1) - Carly Guinn 1.

Records: Southwestern (6-0); Litchfield (5-1)

Lady Panthers Down 'Dogs En Route To Title Shot

The Litchfield Lady Panthers picked up their second win of their home tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 26, with a 47-36 victory over Staunton.

Playing in the second game of the night, following Southwestern's 69-26 victory over Carlyle, the Lady Panthers outscored the Bulldogs in three of the four quarters, with the lone exception being a 9-9 third quarter.

Litchfield held an 11-8 lead after the first quarter, then built that margin to 23-18 by the end of the second frame. After the dead even third quarter, the Lady Panthers finished off the win with a 15-9 final frame to take the 11-point victory, their fourth of the season.

Cara Pence led Litchfield with 14 points, while Carson Jackson reached double figures as well, with ten. Both players hit two threes in the game as Litchfield picked up six treys on the night.

Carly Boden would finish with eight points on the inside for Litchfield, while Becky Painter had the Panthers' other two threes and finished with six points. Maddie Diamond (four), Emily Senjan (three) and Laura Boston (two) finished out the scoring for LHS.

November 26 at Litchfield

Litchfield Thanksgiving Tournament

Litchfield 11 12 9 15 47

Staunton 8 10 9 9 36

Litchfield (47) - Cara Pence 14, Carson Jackson 10, Carly Boden 8, Becky Painter 6, Maddie Diamond 4, Emily Senjan 3, Laura Boston 2. Totals: 20 1-4 47.

Staunton (36) - Legendre 11, Long 8, Davis 6, Tuetken 6, Kinder 3, Bekeske 2. Totals:14 5-8 36.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 6 - Jackson 2, Pence 2, Painter 2; Staunton 3 - Davis 2, Kinder 1.

Records: Litchfield (4-0); Staunton (1-2).

November 26 at Litchfield

Litchfield Thanksgiving Tournament

Southwestern 21 27 15 6 69

Carlyle 7 8 8 3 26

Southwestern (69) - Josie Bouillon 16, Morgan Durham 12, Korrie Hopkins 11, Addie Green 9, Rylee Smith 9, Annie Gallaher 6, Whitney Keith 4, Natalie Keith 2. Totals: 26 4-6 69.

Carlyle (26) - Molly Diekemper 19, Amaurie Kilbert 4, Sommer Erlinger 2, Megan Guthrie 1. Totals: 9 7-11 26.

Three-point field goals: Southwestern 13 - Bouillon 4, Green 3, Smith 3, Durham 2, W. Keith 1; Carlyle 1 - Diekemper 1.

Records: Southwestern (5-0); Carlyle (0-3).

21st Annual Litchfield Girls Basketball Thanksgiving Round Robin

Final Tournament Standings: Southwestern 4-0, Litchfield 3-1, Nokomis 2-2, Staunton 1-3, Carlyle 0-4.

Saturday, November 23

• Southwestern 53, Nokomis 23

• Litchfield 39, Carlyle 13

Monday, November 25

• Nokomis 32, Carlyle 28

• Southwestern 57, Staunton 22

Tuesday, November 26

• Southwestern 69, Carlyle 26

• Litchfield 47, Staunton 36

Friday, November 29

• Staunton 52, Carlyle 25

• Litchfield 46, Nokomis 33

Saturday, November 30

• Nokomis 39, Staunton 28

• Southwestern 55, Litchfield 25

All-Tournament: Molly Diekemper (Carlyle); Macee Eisenbarth (Nokomis); Rylee Smith (Southwestern); Hollie Bekeske (Staunton), Emily Senjan (Litchfield); MVP: Korrie Hopkins (Southwestern).

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