New Tourney, New Foe For Litchfield Boys

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After participating in the Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran Thanksgiving Tournament for several years, the Litchfield Purple Panthers decided to make a change and joined the Waterloo Thanksgiving Tournament for the 2021-2022 season. 

The change in the schedule was set up during the previous season as Litchfield would search for new opponents. The Panthers would begin the tournament on Tuesday night, Nov. 23, against the host school, the Waterloo Bulldogs. After a competitive first quarter the Panthers would fall to the Bulldogs, 73-52.  

The Panthers would enter uncharted territory with two juniors and three sophomores on the floor to begin the contest. Throughout the first quarter both teams would exchange blows with the biggest lead, four points, being held by the Bulldogs at 13-9. 

Both teams would combine for a total of 33 points in the opening quarter, with Litchfield beginning the scoring action when Victor McGill, a transfer from Granite City, dropped in the first basket of the night. 

McGill would also put in another basket as he would lead Litchfield in scoring in the opening quarter, along with Carson Saathoff who connected on four points coming off the bench. 

Gavin Thimsen would have the biggest basket of the quarter though as he sank a three-point basket as the buzzer expired to bring the Panthers within one point of the Bulldogs. The late basket would be a big boost for Litchfield as Waterloo would control a 17-16 lead after one quarter of action. 

In the second quarter Waterloo’s aggressive offense would allow the Bulldogs to build a 24-19 lead in the first three minutes of the quarter. Thimsen would put in the first basket of the second quarter for the Panthers, but this would be Litchfield’s lone field goal during Waterloo’s early run.

With just over three minutes to play in the quarter McGill would add his seventh point of the half when he narrowed Waterloo’s lead to 26-22. This field goal would be significant as Waterloo would not allow another Litchfield field goal in the remaining minutes of the second quarter. Litchfield would get four more points before the quarter would expire but they would come from free throws from Clayton Bishop and McGill. 

The lack of field goals in the last part of the quarter would put the Panthers in a tough position as Waterloo would put in nine points and build a 35-26 lead at the half. 

Litchfield would be led by Victor McGill in the scoring column with nine first half points and Waterloo’s Ty Lenardt would lead all scorers as he put 14 points on the scoreboard in the first half.  

After coming off a three win season last year, Waterloo would look to be clicking on all cylinders in the opening minutes of the third quarter. 

The Bulldogs would add 12 points to their total in the first four minutes of the second half. On the other side of the court, the Panthers would still struggle to find a way to connect on any baskets from the field. Clayton Bishop would help Litchfield’s cause with an early basket but this would be the only points Litchfield could find during Waterloo’s 12-2 run, which would give the Bulldogs a 47-28 lead. 

Litchfield would put up a fight in the final four minutes of the quarter, narrowing the Waterloo lead to 52-36 with help from Keenan Powell, Bishop, Saathoff and Thimsen, as they would all add points before time expired in the third frame.  

Litchfield would strike early in the final frame, putting in five early points and narrowing the Waterloo lead down to 13. That margin would be as close to the Waterloo lead as the Panthers would get. Waterloo would continue to increase their lead throughout the final two minutes of the contest as they would cruise to a 73-52 victory. 

Litchfield would be led in the scoring column by Victor McGill with 16 points. Ty Lenhart, who put in 14 points in the first half, would double that effort in the second half as Litchfield would not be able to find an answer for him as he would end with 36 total points. 

One of the biggest difference in the lopsided victory was the aggressiveness of the Bulldogs as they would be able to create 22 free throws throughout the game, while Litchfield would only attempt nine free throws. 

Waterloo would also be able to seal the deal in the second half as they would shoot an unheard of 70 percent from the field in the second half.

Nov. 23 at Waterloo

Waterloo Tournament

Litchfield 16 10 10 16 52 

Waterloo 17 18 17 21 73 

Litchfield (52) - Victor McGill 16, Keenan Powell 10, Gavin Thimsen 7, Carson Saathoff 6, Clayton Bishop 6, Bryce Hires 4, AJ Odle 3. Totals: 20-64 6-9 52.

Waterloo (73) - Ty Lenhardt 36, Alex Stell 10, Ian Schrader 9, Wyatt Fink 6, Logan Calvert 6, Noah Meyers 2, Anthony Maxey 2, Nixon Hergenroeder 2. Totals: 26-44 18-22 73.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 6-22 (Powell 2, Bishop 1, Hires 1, Odle 1, Thimsen 1); Waterloo 3-8 (Lenhardt 2, Fink 1).

Records: Litchfield (0-1); Waterloo (1-0).

Waterloo Boys Basketball 

Thanksgiving Tourney

November 23-December 2

Tuesday, November 23 

at Waterloo High School

• Freeburg 78, Valmeyer 32

• Waterloo 73, Litchfield 52

Friday, November 26 

at Waterloo High Schoo

• Litchfield 84, Valmeyer 55

• Waterloo Gibault 52, Waterloo 41

Saturday, November 27 

at Waterloo Gibault Catholic

• Waterloo Gibault 78, Valmeyer 35

• Freeburg 55, Litchfield 35

Tuesday, November 30 

at Waterloo Gibault Catholic

6 p.m. - Litchfield vs. Waterloo Gibault

7:30 p.m. - Freeburg vs. Waterloo

Thursday, December 2 

at Waterloo Gibault Catholic

6 p.m. - Waterloo vs. Valmeyer

7:30 p.m. - Freeburg vs. Waterloo Gibault

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