Tornadoes Blow Past Litchfield In Pool Play Finale

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Sitting at 0-1 in the Rick McGraw Memorial Invitational, Litchfield looked to square their record on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Standing in their path was a destructive Tornado team from Taylorville. Seeded as a three seed, the Tornadoes showcased their talent early and often in the contest as they would cruise to a 69-41 victory.

In a blink of an eye, Taylorville would quickly control a 10-0 lead in the first two minutes of action. After a quick time out by the Purple Panthers the Tornadoes would continue to dominate Simmons Gym, putting up 11 more points before the Purple Panthers would be able to connect on a basket. 

Trailing 21-0 Litchfield would get their first basket of the game when John Corso connected on a field goal. 

Taylorville would not be finished, putting on eight more points before the quarter would expire, as the Tornadoes would control a 29-2 contest after one quarter. 

The success in the opening quarter would come in many different ways for the Tornadoes as they would connect on 12 of their 16 shots. Taylorville would also put in 22 of their 29 points from inside the paint, 18 of those 22 points would come in transition.

After a three-point basket by John Corso, the Tornadoes would continue their destructive path in the second quarter. Taylorville would add seven more points before Litchfield would be able to score again. 

Trailing 36-5 Litchfield would grab two more points from John Corso as he sank both of his shots from the charity stripe. Again Taylorville would respond with two three-pointers that would sandwich a three-pointer by Litchfield's Brady Bishop. Bishop, in his second game back from an early season injury, would not miss a beat from the first game of the season. After scoring 21 points on Monday, Bishop would respond with another double digit scoring effort in this contest. 

Trailing 42-10 in the final minutes of the first half, Litchfield would grab two more baskets before the half would close out, narrowing the Taylorville lead to 42-14. 

Taylorville's Jase Bergschneider, an all-tournament member from the last two seasons, would lead all scorers with ten points in the first half, as eight Tornadoes would put points on the board. John Corso would lead the Purple Panthers with eight points.

Trailing by 28, the Purple Panthers would drop the Taylorville lead in the third frame as they would outscore the Tornadoes 22-16. Corso would continue to have the scoring hand for Litchfield as he would add five more points to his total, but Brady Bishop would have the hot hand from behind the arc. Bishop would add nine points to his total as he connected on three three-pointers, giving him 14 points after three quarters. 

Jase Bergschneider would continue his success on the offensive side of the court as he would add five more points to his total. The six point swing would narrow the Taylorville lead down to 22 points as the Tornadoes would hold a 58-36 lead after three quarters of action. 

In the final frame, the Tornadoes would regain their 28 point halftime lead as they would outscore Litchfield 11-5. Litchfield would get one field goal in the final quarter as Cameron Crow connected on a two point bucket. 

The other three points would come from the free-throw line as Brady Bishop and John Corso combined for a 3-for-4 effort at the line. 

Bishop would have a team high 15 points for the game, while John Corso would follow him with 14 points of his own. 

After putting in 15 points in the first three quarters, Taylorville's Jase Bergschneider would add four more in the final frame to give him a game-leading 19 points. 

Taylorville would find a lot of success throughout the contest as they would move to 2-0 in pool play with a 69-41 victory. 

In basketball, stats do not lie and the tale of tape came from Taylorville's 72 percent shot success from inside the paint as the Tornadoes would connect on 46 of their 69 points from inside the arc. 

The win would move the Tornadoes into the championship bracket of the Rick McGraw Memorial Invitational, where they will face Pana. 

The loss would drop Litchfield to 0-2 in pool play, placing them in the 9th place bracket. Litchfield will continue action in the Invitational on Thursday again Ramsey in Panther Gym at 7:30 p.m.

January 21 at Litchfield

Rick McGraw Memorial Invite

Litchfield 2 12 22 5 41

Taylorville 29 13 16 11 69

Litchfield (41) - Brady Bishop 15, John Corso 14, Blaine Stewart 5, Blake McGill 3, Austin Niehaus 2, Emilio McGill 2. Totals: 13 9-13 41.

Taylorville (69) - Jase Bergschneider 19, Tyler Heimsness 18, Sean Czajkowski 9, Kamren Heimsness 6, Wyatt Shirley 6, Bryce Riedrich 4, Levi Clayton 3. Totals: 28 8-13 69.

Three-point field goals: Litchfield 6 (Bishop 4, Corso 1, Stewart 1); Taylorville

Records: Litchfield (8-11); Taylorville (9-9).

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

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

Pool C: 3. Taylorville (2-0); 6. Litchfield (0-2); 11. Hillsboro (1-1)

Pool D: 4. Gateway Legacy (1-1); 5. Nokomis (2-0); 12. Father McGivney (0-2)

Pool Play - Day 3

Tuesday, January 21

• Triad 66, Greenville 51

• Taylorville 69, Litchfield 41

• Pana 75, Civic Memorial 61

• Nokomis 54, Gateway Legacy 49

Ninth Place Bracket

at Panther Gym

Thursday, January 23

6 p.m. - Mt. Zion vs. Father McGivney

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

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. - Greenville vs. Gateway Legacy

7:30 p.m. - Civic Memorial vs. Hillsboro

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. - Triad vs. Nokomis

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

Saturday, January 25

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

7 p.m. - Championship Game

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