Panthers Pick Up Win Number One


The day after Thanksgiving is always a rough day for basketball as players are recovering from the feast the day before. Some of that would be seen on Friday, Nov. 26, as Litchfield would continue action in the Waterloo Thanksgiving Tournament against the Valmeyer Pirates. 

Litchfield would give Coach Nick Gerndt his first win in the program with an 84-55 victory in a contest that saw 46 turnovers, 49 fouls and 62 free throws attempted.  

The Panthers’ defense would be the key to opening minutes in this contest. Litchfield’s suffocating defense would cause Valmeyer to commit a turnover on each of its first four possessions. Litchfield would take advantage of the defense success and take off to a 6-0 lead. 

That lead would quickly dwindle as the Pirates, a Cahokia Conference team with an enrollment of 118, would put six points on the board to tie the contest at six with just over three minutes to play in the opening quarter. 

After a nearly three-minute scoring drought by the Panthers, Litchfield’s offense would kick it up a gear and finish the last three minutes of the opening quarter by adding 17 points to their total. 

It would again be the Panthers’ defense that would lead to the success on the offensive side of the court. Litchfield’s defense would force Valmeyer to commit six more turnovers in the quarter, resulting in a total of 10 first quarter turnovers for the Pirates. 

Litchfield would put themselves in a predicament with 90 seconds remaining in the quarter as they would have already committed enough fouls to send Valmeyer to the charity stripe for the remaining minutes of the first half. 

Victor McGill would help the Panthers’ offense in the quarter as he would add nine points to the scoreboard, including a three-pointer late in the quarter. McGill’s nine points would only be the beginning of a successful night for the young guard.  

Litchfield’s success in the first quarter would take a little time to carry over to the second frame as Valmeyer would take off with a 7-2 run to start the quarter. The early run by the Pirates would take a 23-10 first quarter Purple Panther lead down to 25-17 in the first half of the second quarter. 

Litchfield would not allow Valmeyer to come any closer in the remaining minutes of the half as the Panthers’ offense exploded for a 45-24 half time lead. Litchfield would use the last four minutes of the half to outscore Valmeyer 20-7. 

McGill would contribute during the run as he would end the first half with 17 total points. Even though the scoreboard would reflect the success the Panthers’ offense would have, Litchfield defense would not be overshadowed as they forced nine more Pirate turnovers, giving them 19 total turnovers in the half. 

Valmeyer would try to take advantage of Litchfield’s foul trouble as they would attempt 22 free throws in the opening half, knocking down 14 of those attempts. Those 14 free throws would result in over half of their first half points as Litchfield would hold a 45-24 half time lead.  

If Victor McGill’s 17 first half points would not be enough, he would make sure the fans would have plenty to cheer about in the third frame. McGill would add nine more points to his total in the first three minutes of the second half, and with the help of a basket from Keenan Powell, Litchfield would increase their lead to 56-32 during that stretch. 

McGill would not be done scoring as he would continue to put points on the board as he would end the third quarter with 15 points and a total of 32 through those three quarters. Besides McGill’s baskets, six other Panthers would put points on the board during the quarter. The team effort would be needed to fend off a surging Pirates offense. 

Valmeyer, who committed 19 first half turnovers, would get their act straight on the offensive side of the court in the third quarter. The Pirates would only turn the ball over twice and would add 23 points to their total in the quarter. 

Even though the Panthers’ defense would be the star in the first half it would be the offense that would keep Litchfield ahead in the third quarter as they would hold on to a 69-47 lead after three quarters. 

In the final frame Litchfield would do what they needed to keep a hold of their commanding lead, including building a big enough advantage to have a continuous running clock. Litchfield would outscore Valmeyer in the final frame 15-8, securing an 84-55 victory. 

McGill would be able to add two more points to his total as he would end the game with 34 total points. Nine of McGill’s points would come from the free-throw line as he knocked down nine of his 13 attempts throughout the contest.  

Keenan Powell, who put in eight first half points, would try to stay out of the shadow of McGill’s game as he would add eight more points in the second half, including six in the final frame, giving him 16 total points in the contest. 

The victory would move the Panthers to 1-1 on the season while the Pirates would drop to 0-2. 

Nov. 26 at Waterloo

Waterloo Tournament

Panthers (1-1)   23   22   24   15  84 

Valmeyer (0-2)         10   14   23   08  55 

Litchfield (84) - Victor McGill 34, Keenan Powell 16, AJ Odle 13, Tate Dobrinich 9, Carson Saathoff 4, Martavious Jones 4, Gavin Thimsen 3, Harrison Thomas 1. Totals: 26 19-27 84.

Valmeyer (55) - Vincent Oggero 15, Harry Miller 12, Jordan McSchooler 12, Evan Rowe-Brown 5, Mason Eschmann 4, Landon Roy 2, Ethan Rowe-Brown 2, Elijah Miller 2, Oscar Hoerr 1. Totals: 15 20-32 55.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 4 (Odle 2, Dobrinich 1, McGill 1); Valmeyer 5 (McSchooler 2, Oggero 2, Eschmann 1).

Records: Litchfield (1-1).

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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