Poor shooting from the floor and 12 points left at the free-throw line led to a 48-24 Litchfield Lady Panther loss at South County last Thursday evening, Dec. 19.
Litchfield aired 34 shots from the floor, six of which were from beyond the arc, and connected on just ten two-point baskets for 25 percent accuracy. They fell prey to the same scenario at the charity stripe as they converted only 4-of-16. Conversely, the Lady Vipers bagged six two-point baskets and found the range for three-pointers in the second half with six treys and an additional six points in the game from the free-throw line.
Litchfield finished the first quarter with balanced scoring as all five starters, Emily Senjan, Becky Painter, Carson Jackson, Cara Pence and Carly Boden, contributed to a 10-8 first quarter Panther lead.
Callie Hughes and Emilie King were the only two South County shooters who would find the bottom of the net, however Eden Copelin and Abby Crow added four points from the free-throw line to keep the Vipers close.
The Lady Panthers suffered through a shooting drought in the second period as they hoisted ten attempts at the rim from the floor, with Cara Pence being the only player who would connect. They were 0-for-4 from the free-throw line and personal fouls also became an issue as Carly Boden picked up her third and was subbed in by freshman Laura Boston.
Three point baskets from South County's Callie Hughes, Mollie Allen and Maddie Mutch accounted for nine of their 15 second quarter points and the Lady Vipers opened a 23-12 first half lead, a number that was never challenged in the second half.
Litchfield's shooting performance would not improve in the third period as Cara Pence would again be the only Panther to score from the floor, while Boston added two points from the free-throw line and Carson Jackson went 1-for-2 from the line. South County outscored their guests 12-7 in the third and 13-5 in the fourth to nail down the 24-point non-conference win over the Panthers.
Cara Pence finished the game as Litchfield's scoring leader with eight points. The Panthers grabbed 16 offensive and 16 defensive rebounds with Pence again leading the way with nine, followed by Emily Senjan with five and Carson Jackson and Laura Boston each with three. The Lady Panthers had eight picks, ten assists and accumulated 15 turnovers. Both teams were whistled with 12 personal fouls.
Litchfield will be back at home on Monday, Dec. 23, as they play Vandalia at 11 a.m. at Simmons Gym. After Christmas, the Lady Panthers will play three pool play games and one crossover contest at this year's Carlinville Holiday Tournament.
December 19 at Waverly
Litchfield 10 2 7 5 24
South County 8 15 12 13 48
Litchfield (24) - Cara Pence 8, Carson Jackson 5, Emily Senjan 4, Laura Boston 3, Carly Boden 2, Becky Painter 2. Totals: 10 (4-13) 24.
South County (48) - Callie Hughes 10, Malena Bixby 10, Maddie Mutch 6, Abby Crow 6, Eden Copelin 5, Kenna Bixby 4, Mollie Allen 3, Emilie King 2, Olivia Crayne 2. Totals: 12 (6-11) 48.
Three point baskets - South County (6) Callie Hughes 2, Maddie Mutch 2, Mollie Allen 1, Eden Copelin 1; Litchfield (0)