Toppers, Tornadoes Shoot It Out

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Cold air outside equalled hot shooting inside when Taylorville scored 94 points and Hillsboro 76 in the opening game of the Rick McGraw Memorial Invitational Tournament Saturday afternoon, Jan. 18.

Obviously the weather didn't cause Taylorville's Jase Bergschneider to score 32 points despite missing much of the first quarter with two personal fouls. 

Obviously it wasn't the weather that caused the Toppers as a team to make 11 three point shots (Drake Vogel had six of them) or to shoot 51% from the field and 77% from the free throw line (Nic Ondrey was 17 of 22 from the charity stripe and five of seven from inside the arc for most of his 24 points). 

Vogel had 23, Jace Tuetken 10, Gavin Matoush nine, Brock Bellaver seven, and Dillon Smail three to account for the highest (by 2 - the Toppers opened the season with 74 in overtime at Shelbyville) points total of the season.

The pace of the game dictated the 170 point total scored by the two teams. Bergschneider, listed at an even 6 foot on the Tornado roster, swished most of the threes he took in pregame warmups, but it was his quickness as a defender and his speed leading the fast break that accounted for his points. 

A member of last season's all-tournament team (Taylorville is the defending champion), Bergschneider now has 1,499 career points, according to Taylorville A.D. Paul Held.

Even without Bergschneider, who picked up his second foul five minutes into the game, the Tornadoes threatened to swirl away and hide in the first period. Sean Czajkowski had the only Taylorville trey in the first quarter (they had four for the game) among his nine points then, and Rhayden Gideon added three fast break goals as Taylorville jumped to a 20-11 lead. 

Vogel treys had the Toppers close (8-6) before a 12-5 run that grew even bigger once Bergschneider returned to action in the second quarter when he (11 points) and Tyler Heimsness (13 points) expanded the lead to 48-32. 

Three times this season Hillsboro has held their opponents to fewer than 48 points in an entire game.

Part of the problem was turnovers (ten in the first half) turned into baskets; guard Wyatt Shirley's quick hands accounted for half of those. Another was the Tornado speed, which led to easier shots and shorter possessions than occur in most games.

The Toppers seemed determined to match the enemy's pace in the second half. Ondrey was effective penetrating for either a twisting layup or a pull-up jumper over as many as three defenders -- he had 13 points in period three. Vogel and Bellaver each had a three, and Matoush had a plus-one field goal as the Toppers outscored their Christian County opponents.

Within the first minute of the last quarter the 16 point halftime lead was whittled to seven though Taylorville hadn't subbed often. Both teams did foul often - two Tornadoes fouled out (Heimsness and Czajkowski), but Bergschneider's foul line success - 8 of 10 in the last eight minutes - and four field goals by Shirley provided the final wider margin of victory.

The 0-1 start in Pool C didn't last long for Hillsboro, who upended Litchfield 82-74 in their second game on Monday, Jan. 20.

Drake Vogel had seven threes in the first half and finished with 25 points to lead the Toppers, while Nic Ondrey added 22 points, going 12-of-16 from the free-throw line in the second half.

After just four fouls combined in the first half for the two teams, the whistles got a work out in the second half as Hillsboro made 33 trips to the free-throw line, hitting 25 (they'd go 26-for-35 overall). Litchfield would add in 18 free throw attempts, hitting 13.

The Panthers were led by Brady Bishop, who was 8-for-9 from the charity stripe and finished with a team-best 18 points. John Corso would add 15 for the Panthers as well. Litchfield will host the 1-0 Tornadoes in their Pool C finale tonight, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

January 18 at Litchfield

Rick McGraw Memorial Invite

Hillsboro 11 21 27 17 76

Taylorville 20 28 25 21 94

Hillsboro (76) - Nic Ondrey 24, Drake Vogel 23, Jace Tuetken 10, Gavin Matoush 9, Brock Bellaver 7, Dillon Smail 3. Totals: 24 14-18 76.

Taylorville (94) - Jase Bergschneider 32, Tyler Heimsness 18, Rhayden Gideon 16, Wyatt Shirley 14, Sean Czajkowski 13, Luke Markwell 1. Totals: 34 21-25 94.

Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 11 (Vogel 6, Bellaver 2, Ondrey 1, Tuetken 1, Smail 1); Taylorville 4 (Heimsness 2, Czajkowski 1, Bergschneider 1).

Records: Taylorville (8-9); Hillsboro (5-13).

January 20 at Litchfield

Rick McGraw Memorial Invite

Hillsboro 21 16 14 31 82

Litchfield 18 25 13 18 74

Hillsboro (82) - Drake Vogel 25, Nic Ondrey 22, Jace Tuetken 12, Gavin Matoush 11, Dylan McCammack 7, Dillon Smail 3, Ian Malloy 2. Totals: 25 26-35 82.

Litchfield (74) - Brady Bishop 18, John Corso 15, Blain Stewart 12, Blake McGill 11, Anthony Boston 10, Austin Niehaus 8. Totals: 27 13-18 74.

Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 8 (Vogel 7, Smail 1); Litchfield 7 (Bishop 2, Stewart 2, McGill 1, Corso 1, Niehaus 1).

Records: Hillsboro (6-13), Litchfield (8-10).

53rd Rick McGraw 

Memorial Invitational

at Litchfield High School

Pool A: 1. Triad (1-0); 8. Greenville (1-0); 9. Mt. Zion (0-2)

Pool B: 2. Pana (1-0); 7. Civic Memorial; 10. Ramsey (0-1)

Pool C: 3. Taylorville (1-0); 6. Litchfield (0-1); 11. Hillsboro (1-1)

Pool D: 4. Gateway Legacy (1-0); 5. Nokomis; 12. Father McGivney (0-1)

Pool Play - Day 1

Saturday, January 18

• Taylorville 94, Hillsboro 76 - Jase Bergschneider with 32 for Taylorville, Nic Ondrey with 24 for Hillsboro

• Pana 66, Ramsey 28 - Jonah Lauff with 18 for Pana, Hunter Williams with 9 for Ramsey

• Triad 72, Mt. Zion 41 - Luke Cox with 33 for Triad, Nash Mose with 11 for Mt. Zion

• Gateway Legacy 63, Father McGivney 54 - Santiago Prettel with 17 for Gateway Legacy, Kellen Weir with 15 for Father McGivney

Pool Play - Day 2

Monday, January 20

• Nokomis 58, Father McGivney 24 - Carter Sabol with 23 for Nokomis, Justin Wenos with 8 for McGivney

• Hillsboro 82, Litchfield 74 - Drake Vogel with 25 for Hillsboro, Brady Bishop with 18 for Litchfield

• Civic Memorial 55, Ramsey 42 - Trey Hall with 18 for Civic Memorial, Kendell Adermann with 16 for Ramsey

• Greenville 51, Mt. Zion 46 - Jack Schaufelberger with 17 for Greenville, Ethan Hamrick with 16 for Mt. Zion

Pool Play - Day 3

Tuesday, January 21

at Simmons Gym

6 p.m. - Greenville vs. Triad

7:30 p.m. - Litchfield vs. Taylorville

at Panther Gym

6 p.m. - Civic Memorial vs. Pana

7:30 p.m. - Nokomis vs. Gateway Legacy

Ninth Place Bracket

at Panther Gym

Thursday, January 23

6 p.m. - #3 Pool A vs. #3 Pool D

7:30 p.m. - #3 Pool B vs. #3 Pool C

Friday, January 24

6 p.m. - 11th Place Game

7:30 p.m. - 9th Place Game

Fifth Place Bracket

at Simmons Gym

Thursday, January 23

6 p.m. - #2 Pool A vs. #2 Pool D

7:30 p.m. - #2 Pool B vs. #2 Pool C

Saturday, January 25

2:30 p.m. - 7th Place Game

4 p.m. - 5th Place Game

Championship Bracket

at Simmons Gym

Friday, January 24

6 p.m. - #1 Pool A vs. #1 Pool D

7:30 p.m. - #1 Pool B vs. #1 Pool C

Saturday, January 25

5:30 p.m. - 3rd Place Game

7 p.m. - Championship Game

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