More often than not, a team that scores fewer than 20 points in a basketball game would not be victorious, but such was not the case last Thursday night, Jan. 23, at East Alton-Wood River as offense took a back seat to defense and the end result was a 19-17 win for Coach Rob Corso's Litchfield Lady Panthers, their 12th of the season.
Although both teams shot poorly from the floor, 7-of-35 for Litchfield and 6-of-30 for EAWR, Carson Jackson's three triples were balanced by the inside presence of Carly Boden who scored eight points from the paint.
Jackson nailed 3-of-7 from outside the arc and Boden was 4-of-7 near the rim. The senior tandem accounted for all but two of Litchfield's 19 game points. Jackson also pulled down seven rebounds and Boden had four.
Uncharacteristically, the other three Litchfield starters, Emily Senjan, Cara Pence and Becky Painter went 0-for-20 from the floor, but none of the three were without major contributions to the game's outcome as Pence recorded seven rebounds, five assists and three steals while Senjan had five rebounds and two steals and Painter grabbed five caroms and had two swipes.
Litchfield pulled down 17 rebounds on the defensive board and 14 offensive. They had 10 steals and held their turnovers to just eight in the game.
LeighAnn Nottke scored the only Oiler field goal in the first quarter as the basket lid all but closed for both teams. Litchfield put up 11 shots in the period and connected on two, a three ball from Jackson and an inside bucket from Boden.
The Panther defense forced six Oiler turnovers and limited their offense to just four looks at the basket. Painter added a free throw and it was 6-2 Litchfield at the end of the first eight minutes of play.
The Oilers' Kayla Brantley sank a free throw to cut the lead to 6-3 in the second and Boden answered with a deuce. Taylor Parmentier's basket drew the Oilers to within three and Pence got one back at the free-throw line. Boden scored her second field goal in the period and it was the last score for either team as the Panthers took a 11-5 halftime lead.
The Oilers missed their first shot of the third quarter, but rebounded the miss and picked up a basket from Brantley. A turnover by the Panthers and a three ball from Hannah Allen drew the score to 11-10.
Litchfield missed their next four shots and a foul by Boden sent Nottke to the line and she converted both charity tosses to give the Oilers their first lead of the game. Carson Jackson erased the Oiler edge with a three-pointer and it was 14-12 Panthers.
Brantley's trey returned the lead back to the hosts and Adrianna Ulrich added a bucket that produced a 17-14 edge. The quarter ended with a Litchfield turnover and a missed opportunity to add three more for the Oilers, but it did not fall. The Oilers outscored their guests 12-3 in the quarter and headed to the fourth period with a 17-14 lead.
The Oilers' offense fell completely silent in the fourth quarter as they went 0-for-5 from the floor. Jackson's three knotted the score at 17 and Boden proved to be the winning basket as the score board read 19-17 Litchfield. The Panthers had two additional opportunities to add to their point total from the free throw line but couldn't convert and the game ended with the two-point edge.
It's a busy week for Litchfield as they begin with a home game against Riverton tonight, Jan. 27, followed by a road trip to Piasa Southwestern on Thursday, Jan. 30, and an away game at Gillespie on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1.
January 23 at Wood River
Litchfield 6 5 3 5 19
EAWR 2 3 12 10 17
Litchfield (19) - Carson Jackson 9, Carly Boden 8, Cara Pence 1, Becky Painter 1. Totals: 7 2-6 19.
East Alton-Wood River (17) - Kayla Brantley 6, LeighAnn Nottke 4, Hannah Allen 3, Taylor Parmentier 2, Adrianna Ulrich 2. Totals: 6 3-4 17.
Three-point field goals: Litchfield 3-16 (Jackson 3); East Alton-Wood River 2-12 (Brantley 1, Allen 1).
Records: Litchfield (12-11); East Alton-Wood (16-9)