Panthers Start Strong, Take Third


Thanksgiving basketball tournaments are always a good early test for high school basketball teams. Most coaches enter these tournaments with goals and a list of questions they have developed throughout the first two weeks of practice.

A lot of coaches would love to claim the early season tournament championship, but some coaches look to walk out of the first week of the season with an above .500 record.

After the Purple Panthers picked up their first win of the season on their first try, a lot of positives continued to shine throughout their remaining three games in the Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off.

Litchfield would claim a 57-46 victory over basketball powerhouse Waterloo Gibault in the quarterfinals on Nov. 21. In the semifinal contest the Purple Panthers would run into a tough host team, Metro-East Lutheran, and would fall 67-49. In the final contest of the tournament for Litchfield the Purple Panthers would claim third place with a 60-53 over a tough Odin squad.

Litchfield would walk out of the tournament with a 3-1 overall record and a lot of positives to build on. Litchfield would also pick up the basketball program's 1,400th win and Coach Drew Logan's 100th win at Litchfield (his 144th career win).

In the quarterfinal contest the Purple Panthers would square off against a basketball powerhouse, Waterloo Gibault. In the past six years the Hawks have claimed three regional titles and two sectional championships and one losing season in the past eight seasons.

The last time these two would square off would be in the Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off Championship in 2013. Gibault would claim that contest with a 66-28 victory.

This would be a great early season test for the Purple Panthers and the results would be very helpful for Coach Drew Logan and staff. A huge first quarter for Litchfield would put the Purple Panthers in the driver's seat in the first half of the contest.

After leading 20-16 after the first quarter the Purple Panthers would carry a 30-26 lead into the half. In the second half the Purple Panthers would continue to have success on the offensive side of the court as they would put the ball on the ground and attack the Hawks' defense. The offense attack would add 27 more points to their side of the scoreboard.

The Litchfield defense was just as impressive, holding Gibault to eight points in the third quarter and 12 in the final frame. The team effort would claim the second victory for Litchfield, knocking off Gibault 57-46.

Litchfield would have three players in double figures led by Sam Painter's 19 points. Ethan Washburn would add 13 points and Brady Bishop would connect on 12 points.

Panthers vs. Knights

After a healthy Thanksgiving meal the Purple Panthers would be back on the court on Friday, Nov. 23. Litchfield would meet the host school Metro-East Lutheran Knights in the semifinals of the Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off.

Again the Purple Panthers would be handed another early season test against a talented Metro-East Lutheran squad. The Knights would jump out ahead of the Purple Panthers early and would keep the pedal to the metal throughout the entire contest.

Litchfield would find themselves trailing at the half 33-24, after trailing 17-12 following the opening quarter. In the second half the Purple Panthers would continue to struggle on the offensive side of the court and would find it difficult to slow down the Knights' offense.

Metro-East Lutheran would come out of the locker room and would increase their lead to 51-33 with an 18-9 third quarter performance.

In the final frame the Purple Panthers would keep the Knights' lead where it was as both teams would put in 16 points. The struggles on the court would push the Purple Panthers out of the championship contest as they would fall 67-49 to Metro-East Lutheran.

Sam Painter would lead the Purple Panthers in scoring with 22 points while Seth McGill followed behind him with 14 points. Litchfield would still earn their spot in the third place contest of the tournament.

Panthers vs. Eagles

The final game for the Purple Panthers in the Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off would be the third place contest. The Purple Panthers would square off against a talented Odin Eagles team.

The Purple Panthers and Eagles met last season in the Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off with the Eagles getting the best of the Purple Panthers with a 50-25 score.

This year the result began to look to be the same early in the contest as the Eagles would grab a decent lead in the first two quarters of action.

Both teams would struggle to put points on the board early in the contest. The Eagles would hold an 8-7 lead after one quarter and in the second frame they began to settle down as they would outscore Litchfield 25-13 in the first half.

In the locker room, Purple Panthers would be inspired by Coach Logan's speech and would come out and put together a 16-0 run in the third quarter. The run would not only give the Purple Panthers a 29-25 lead, it would also begin to make it tough for Odin to come from behind.

Litchfield would put together a 26-4 run that would last throughout the third frame as they now owned a 37-29 lead after three frames. In the final frame the Purple Panthers would look to keep the momentum going. Litchfield would continue to have success, on the offense side of the court, in the final frame as they would add 21 points to their total in the fourth quarter.

The Odin offense would not slow down either as they would add 24 more points. The late push by the Eagles would not be enough as the Purple Panthers would claim the victory, giving them a third place finish.

The win would also move the Purple Panthers to 3-1 overall as they would walk out of the tournament with a record above .500.

Litchfield would once again put three players in double digits. Sam Painter, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team, would lead all scorers with 23 points. Billy Beckham's 12 points and Brady Bishop's 11 points would follow Painter on the scoreboard.

 Litchfield will be on the road on Tuesday as they take on the Mt. Olive Wildcats.

Nov. 21 at Edwardsville

Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off

Litchfield    20    10    10    17    57

Gibault   16   10   8   12  46

Litchfield (57) - Sam Painter 19, Ethan Washburn 13, Brady Bishop 12, Seth McGill 9, Billy Beckham 2, John Corso 2. Totals: 21 9-12 57.

Gibault (46) - Karson Huels 25, John Adams 9, Logan Doerr 8, Gavin Kohnz 4. Totals: 14 9-14 46.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 6 (Bishop 3, McGill 2, Painter 1); Gibault 9 (Huels 7, Doerr 2).

Record: Litchfield (2-0).

Nov. 23 at Edwardsville

Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off

Litchfield    12    12    9    16    49

Metro-East Luth.    17    16    18    16    67

Litchfield (49) - Sam Painter 22, Seth McGill 14, Billy Beckham 5, Ethan Washburn 3, John Corso 3, Austin Niehaus 2. Totals: 17 7-9 49.

Metro-East Lutheran (67) - Damonte Bean 18, Cooper Krone 15, Jason Williams 13, Jonah Wilson 11, A.J. Smith 5, Tyler Williams 2. Totals: 26 10-15.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 8 (McGill 4, Painter 3, Corso 1); Metro-East Lutheran 5 (Krone 3, Miller 1, J. Williams 1).

Record: Litchfield (2-1).

Nov. 24 at Edwardsville

Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off

Third Place Game

Litchfield    7    6    24    21    60

Odin    8    11    4    24    53

Litchfield (60) - Sam Painter 23, Billy Beckham 12, Brady Bishop 11, Seth McGill 8, Austin Niehaus 3, Ethan Washburn 2, Anthony Boston 1. Totals: 19 17-23 60.

Odin (53) - Lucas Shaffer 23, Kaiden Roberts 14, Dylan Friend 8, Kegan Parrish 7, Ethan Finckbone 1. Totals: 18 10-16 53.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 5 (Bishop 2, McGill 2, Painter 1); Odin  7 (Roberts 4, Shaffer 3).

Record: Litchfield (3-1).

Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off

Boys Basketball Tournament

Hosted by Metro-East Lutheran

Opening Round

Game 1: Alton Marquette 70, Metro-East Lutheran JV 26

Game 2: St. Louis College Prep 57, Roxana 44

Game 3: Christ Our Rock Lutheran 70, Southwestern 55

Game 4: Odin 54, Lebanon 38

Game 5: Metro-East Lutheran 55, East Alton-Wood River 24

Game 6: Gillespie 46, Valmeyer 42

Game 7: Waterloo Gibault 61, Dupo 31

Game 8: Litchfield 57, Marissa 53

Consolation Quarterfinal

Game 9: Roxana 53, Metro-East Lutheran JV 48

Game 10: Southwestern 53, Lebanon 30

Game 11: Marissa 53, Dupo 26

Game 12: Valmeyer 67, East Alton-Wood River 60

Championship Quarterfinal

Game 13: Alton Marquette 49, St. Louis College Prep 36

Game 14: Odin 71, Christ Our Rock Lutheran 58

Game 15: Litchfield 57, Waterloo Gibault 46

Game 16: Metro-East Lutheran 58, Gillespie 23

13th Place Bracket Semifinal

Game 17: Metro-East Lutheran JV 49, Lebanon 29

Game 18: Dupo 51, East Alton-Wood River 43

Consolation Semifinal

Game 19: Roxana 47, Southwestern 40

Game 20: Marissa 55, Valmeyer 25

Fifth Place Bracket Semifinal

Game 21: St. Louis College Prep 74, Christ Our Rock Lutheran 48

Game 22: Waterloo Gibault 67, Gillespie 46

Championship Semifinal

Game 23: Alton Marquette 57, Odin 26

Game 24: Metro-East Lutheran 67, Litchfield 49

15th Place Game

Game 25: East Alton-Wood River 48, Lebanon 29

13th Place Game

Game 27: Southwestern 37, Valmeyer 33

11th Place Game

Game 26: Dupo 59, Metro-East Lutheran JV 33

Consolation Championship

Game 28: Marissa 47, Roxana 42

7th Place Game

Game 29: Gillespie 73, Christ Our Rock 64

5th Place Game

Game 30: St. Louis College Prep 57, Waterloo Gibault 53

3rd Place Game

Game 31: Litchfield 60, Odin 53

Championship Game

Game 32: Alton Marquette 50, Metro-East Lutheran 37

MVP: Jake Hall (Marquette)

All-Tournament Team: Sam Painter (Litchfield), Sammy Green (Marquette), Isaiah Erving (Marquette), Jason Williams (Metro-East Lutheran), DaMonte Bean (Metro-East Lutheran), Gavin Huffman (Roxana)

Panthers Shoot Down Meteors

The Litchfield Purple Panthers would open their 2018-2019 season in a familiar setting,  the Metro-East Lutheran High School gymnasium, as Litchfield would take part in the  Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tournament.

The Purple Panthers would square up against a pesky Marissa-Coulterville ball club in their season and tournament opener. A big fourth quarter for the Purple Panthers would be the difference in the contest as Litchfield would take the contest 57-53.

Marissa-Coulterville would take an early lead in the contest as they would connect on the first points of the game in the first minute of the contest. It would take just over another minute before the next basket would be recorded.

This time it would be the Purple Panthers connecting on their first points of the season. Sam Painter would put in Litchfield's basket squaring the contest at two points.

Ethan Washburn would follow Painter's basket with a field goal of his own giving Litchfield the lead 4-2. The scoring would remain the same until nearly two minutes later when Marissa-Coulterville would tie the contest at four points.

With the game starting at a slow pace for both teams, it would take nearly a half a quarter for the cobwebs to be cleaned up. In the second half of the first quarter both teams would combine for 18 points, compared to eight in the first part of the opening quarter.

Litchfield would get two big three pointers from Seth McGill in the quarter, but that would not be enough as Marissa-Coulterville lead 14-12 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter both teams again would struggle out of the gates. Marissa-Coulterville would deliver the first blow of the quarter as they increased their lead to 16-12.

Litchfield would respond with a 6-0 run capped off by a field goal by Sam Painter as the Purple Panthers would regain the lead at 18-16.

The Purple Panthers would not be able to pull too far ahead of Marissa-Coulterville before the Meteors would strike again. The Meteors would square the contest up at 18 before both teams would exchange blows throughout the remaining minutes of the quarter.

As the buzzer would expire in the first half both teams would be at a standstill as the score would be tied at 24 points apiece. Brady Bishop would have a solid second quarter as he connected on a three-point field goal and would connect on two more free throws, making him 4-for-4 from the line in the first half.

Bishop's second quarter performance would give him seven points and the team lead in the opening half. Sam Painter and Seth McGill would follow closely behind Bishop in the first half with six points apiece.

In the second half the Purple Panthers would begin the third frame looking for a way to break the tied score. Marissa-Coulterville though would be quick to respond to the challenge as they connected on the first basket of the quarter.

Just over a minute into the second half the Purple Panthers would grab their first points of the half and would add another basket, regaining the lead at 28-26. The Meteors would again tie the contest but it would take them nearly two minutes to grab the bucket. Ethan Washburn would follow with a free throw and Sam Painter would grab another field goal to make the score 31-28.

Again the Litchfield squad would have problems building onto their lead. On the other end of the court the Meteors would take advantage and put together a 7-0 run to grab a 35-31 lead with just under two minutes to play in the third frame.

Litchfield would not go away though. Trailing by four, the Purple Panthers would narrow the Meteor lead with just under two minutes to play in the frame.

Sam Painter would give the Purple Panthers their 33rd point of the contest, beginning a 6-0 run for the Purple Panthers. Painter would score the next four points for the Purple Panthers giving him ten points in the quarter and 16 through three quarters, but more importantly a 37-35 lead for the Purple Panthers with 45 ticks left on the clock. Just like Litchfield Marissa-Coulterville would not go away as the Meteors would regain their lead closing out the quarter with a field goal and a free throw giving them a 38-37 lead after three frames.

In the final quarter Painter would continue his second half success with two free throws opening the quarter. The two buckets from the charity stripe would put Litchfield ahead 39-37 early in the fourth quarter.

Both teams would continue to connect on baskets on each end of the quarter. With the contest tied at 51 apiece, with under a minute to play in regulation Litchfield began to pull away from their opponent.

The factor was the success from the charity stripe. In the quarter the Purple Panthers would connect on 12-of-12 free throws. The success from the line would help build a 57-51 lead to secure a victory.

The Meteors would gain a bucket with three ticks left on the clock to make the score 57-53. The Purple Panthers would inbound the ball following a time-out and secure it as they would claim the 57-53 victory.

The victorious Litchfield squad would be led in the scorebook by Sam Painter. Painter would connect on 22 points, 16 coming in the second half. Brady Bishop (14) and Seth McGill (ten) would follow Painter in the scoring column.

The Purple Panthers' victory would be the program's 1,399 victory as the Litchfield squad moved into the quarterfinals in a Thanksgiving eve tilt against Waterloo Gibault.

Nov. 20 at Edwardsville

Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tip Off

Litchfield    12    12    13    20    57

Marissa    14    10    14    13    53

Litchfield (57) - Sam Painter 22, Brady Bishsop 14, Seth McGill 10, Ethan Washburn 5, John Corso 5, Billy Beckham 1. Totals: 16 19-22 57.

Marissa (53) - Logan Jones 20, Sebastion Ivory-Greer 18, Kade Portz 5, Austin Gilley 4, Blake Steinwagner 2, Cameron Bowlby 2. Totals: 19 9-16 53.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 6 (Bishop 2, McGill 2, Painter 1, Corso 1); Marissa 4 (Jones 2, Ivory-Greer 1, Portz 1).

Record: Litchfield (1-0).