Friday night's score was not a measuring tool of the effort Litchfield would put in their South Central Conference contest against Vandalia in Simmons Gym on Jan. 10. The Vandals would hand the Purple Panthers a 56-38 defeat, but not without a fight from Litchfield throughout the contest.
In the opening quarter Litchfield would find themselves in the ball game with a hot hand from behind the arc. The Purple Panthers would connect on three of the six three-point attempts as Blaine Stewart, with two, and Blake McGill connected on the three successful attempts.
Litchfield though, would not have any luck inside the arc as they would fail to connect on the five attempts they put up. Litchfield would also help the Vandals in the scoring column as the Vandals would score eight of their 12 first quarter points off of Purple Panther turnovers.
Even though Litchfield would commit eight first quarter turnovers they would remain in the contest as they would trail Vandalia 12-10 after one quarter.
After allowing the Purple Panthers to stay in the ball game, Vandalia would quickly increase their lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter. The Vandals would come out of the gate with a 6-2 run that would push their two-point lead to 18-12.
The Purple Panthers, as they have all year, would not give up in this contest. A big three pointer by Blake McGill put a halt on the Vandalia run and would also narrow the Vandalia lead to three points. McGills' three pointer would be his second of the game and the fourth for the Purple Panthers.
The Vandals would put together a late quarter push that would give them their biggest lead of the night as they would lead the Purple Panthers 28-19 at the half.
Blake McGill would lead Litchfield in the scoring column as he connected on seven points. The Vandals, who put in eight points off of turnovers in the first quarter, would grab five more points off of turnovers in the second quarter. Vandalia would also find success at the charity stripe as they would earn 11 free throws, all coming in the second quarter, and would put in seven of those 11 attempts.
Coming out of the locker room Litchfield would look to narrow the Vandalia lead. Anthony Boston would get the half started on the right foot when he connected on the opening basket of the half. The Vandals would quickly respond with five straight points, giving them the first double digit lead of the evening, 33-21.
Litchfield again would not give up as Blake McGill and John Corso would respond with two baskets, narrowing the Vandalia lead to 33-25. Again the Vandals would have an answer as they would connect on the next seven points before Blaine Stewart made the last basket of the quarter. The late run by the Vandals would give them a 40-27 lead after three quarters of action.
As the story of the game goes, the Purple Panthers would once again not give up as they would narrow the Vandalia lead once again. Litchfield would start the fourth quarter off with a 6-2 run that would narrow Vandalia's lead to 42-33 early in the quarter.
Anthony Boston again would get a quarter started off with an opening field goal. Blaine Stewart and Blake McGill would put the finishing touches on the early run. The nine point deficit would be the closest the Purple Panthers would get to the Vandalia lead as once again the Vandals would respond.
The Vandals would make a nine point deficit into a 17 point deficit with a 10-2 run that would give Vandalia a 52-35 lead late in the contest.
With two and a half minutes to play in the contest Blake McGill would end the Vandalia run as he connected on his 14th point of the contest on his third three pointer.
The Vandals would close the contest out with four more points and would keep the Purple Panthers off the scoreboard as the they would walk away with a 56-38 South Central Conference victory.
The win would move the Vandals to 2-1 in the South Central Conference and 9-6 overall while Purple Panthers would drop to 1-2 in the conference and 7-9 overall.
The difference in the contest would come from points off turnovers as the Vandals would put in 25 points off of 27 turnovers while the Purple Panthers would put in 11 points off of 17 turnovers.
The Vandals would also get plenty chances to put points on the board as they would also connect on ten second chance points.
Blake McGill's 14 points would lead the Purple Panthers in scoring. Litchfield will look to put a stop to the two game slide as they travel to East Alton-Wood River on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and then North Mac on Friday, Jan. 18.
January 10 at Litchfield
Vandalia 12 16 12 16 56
Litchfield 10 9 8 11 38
Vandalia (56) - Garrett Austin 17, Case Goldsmith 13, Mitchell Casey 9, Carson Ruot 7, Gaige Beall 6, Matthew Wells 4. Totals: 21 13-19 56.
Litchfield (38) - Blake McGill 14, Blaine Stewart 10, John Corso 6, Anthony Boston 4, Chase Hires 2, Austin Niehaus 2. Totals: 15 3-5 38.
Three-point field goals: Vandalia 1 (Casey 1); Litchfield 5 (McGill 3, Stewart 2).
Records: Litchfield (7-9, 1-2); Vandalia (9-6, 2-1).