Litchfield Girls Hope To Rebound After Tough 2018-19

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Litchfield played 27 games in 2018-19, two less than last year. They finished with seven wins and 20 losses. They lost some close games, two by two points and one in overtime. Six of the Panther losses were by 10 points or less. 

"We were plagued by inconsistent playing this year, especially on defense," Coach Rob Corso said.

In South Central Conference play, Coach Corso noted the SCC was very competitive this year. 

"The SCC had three regional winners and a fourth place team at state," he added. 

The Lady Panthers posted wins over Vandalia and Roxana in SCC play and dropped losses to Carlinville, Staunton, Hillsboro, Greenville, Pana, Southwestern and Gillespie. Their 2-7 record was identical to last year's conference mark.

Coach Corso feels the Lady Panthers need to become more proficient on offense by limiting turnovers and making better decisions with the ball. 

"We are looking forward to a productive summer and the continued growth of our underclassmen," Corso said.

The Lady Panthers were hampered from the start last year as sophomore Emily Senjan suffered a wrist injury and was lost for the entire season while junior Greta Fleming appeared in just 16 games due to a recurring knee injury that she suffered while playing soccer. Both players returned to this year's lineup and appeared in all 27 scheduled games. 

In addition to their own Thanksgiving tournament, which was won by the Lady Bulldogs of Staunton, Litchfield played in just one other tournament.

The other was the Carlinville Holiday Classic where they finished sixth. The Lady Cavaliers claimed the tournament title, their first one since 2008.

Litchfield began their season with a 54-39 road win at Nokomis on Nov. 13. They would meet the Lady Redskins again in the Litchfield Tourney in late November and capture a six point decision. 

Their other five regular season wins came at Pawnee, a conference decision at Vandalia, a tournament win over Bunker Hill in the Carlinville Holiday Classic, at home against North Mac and a road conference win at Roxana. Their largest margin of victory was 20 points over Roxana and Bunker Hill. 

Litchfield's postseason play ended in the opening round game of the Staunton Regional Tournament with a loss to Vandalia, a team they had beaten by nine on the Vandals' home court on Dec.  10. They scored 992 points in 27 games for a 36.2 points per game average. Opponents scored 1,275 points against them for an average of 47.2 points allowed per game.

Taking care of the basketball was again an issue for the Lady Panthers as they turned the ball over 551 times in 27 games for an average of 20.6 turnovers per game. They were whistled for 422 personal fouls and the number of assists, steals, and rebounds were all lower than last year. On the positive side, the purple and white more than doubled their numbers from last year in blocks with 24.

The Panthers attempted 808 two-point shots and connected on 300 for an average of .371. From beyond the arc, they shot 286 three pointers and netted 77 for an average of .269. In comparison, they attempted 349 three point baskets last year and found the bottom of the net 100 times. At the free throw line, they converted 161 of 313 charity tosses for an average of .514.

Lizzy Luttrell appeared in all 27 games and led the team in scoring with a 6.9 point per game average and a total of 185 points. The 5'7" senior made 36-of-73 two-point field goals and 26-of-96 shots from behind the arc. She nailed 35 of 57 free throws which garnered the team's Free Throw Award. She was second to Becky Painter in rebounding with 122, led the team in assists with 53 and was second to Maddie Diamond in ball swipes with 30.

Senior Greta Fleming also played in all 27 games and scored 91 points for a 3.4 per game average. Fleming shot .410 from the field, hitting 34-of-83 two-point baskets. She sank 23-of-46 free throws (.500), grabbed 58 rebounds, dished out 17 assists and had five steals.

Mcall Wertin, the last of the senior trio, appeared in 18 games. She made 8-of-21 two-point field goals for a .381 average and was 2-of-11 from the charity stripe for 18 total points. She pulled down ten caroms, had two assists, a steal and a block.

The Panthers had three juniors on the team, Emily Senjan, Carly Boden and Carson Jackson. Senjan played in all 27 games and scored 83 points for an average of 3.1 points per game. She converted 26-of-86 two-point field goals (.302) and was 1-of-2 from beyond the arc. Senjan dropped in 28-of-53 free throws for a .528 average. She grabbed 91 rebounds, had 29 assists, 16 steals and two blocks. Senjan was awarded the Panther Spirit Award during the end-of-the-year awards night on Feb. 10.

Carly Boden scored 120 points in 27 games, the majority of which came from within the paint, for a 4.4 point per game average. The 5'9" center made 54-of-137 two-point baskets for a .394 average and was 12-of-32 from the free throw line for a .375 average. Boden had 85 rebounds, five assists, eight steals and four blocks.

Carson Jackson averaged 4.1 points per game and scored 102 points in 25 games. Jackson was 20 of 64 from beyond the arc (.312) and 16 of 44 in two-point field goals (.364). She shot 17 free throws and converted ten for a .588 average. She pulled down 37 rebounds, had 17 assists, six steals and one block. 

This year's sophomore class included Maddie Diamond, Aly Fenton, Kate Komor, Becky Painter, Cara Pence and Jordan Ramey.

Diamond scored 148 points in 25 games for an average of 5.9 points per game. She averaged .409 from the floor with 61 of 149 two-point field goals and converted 4-of-18 three-point baskets. Diamond tossed in 14 of 25 free throws. She led the team in steals with 34. 

Becky Painter, this year's team MVP, was the Panthers' rebounding leader with 134 caroms. She was second to Luttrell in scoring with 158 points in 27 games for a 5.9 points per game average. Painter made 36-of-118 two-point baskets for an average of .305. She shot 72 times from beyond the arc and converted 20 treys. She boasted a .605 average from the free throw line having converted 26-of-43 tries. Cara Pence appeared in all 27 games and scored 76 points for an average of 2.8 points per game. She was third behind Painter and Luttrell in rebounding with 106. Pence made 24-of-73 two-point field goals to establish a .329 average and was 6-of-25 from three-point land. She also led the team in blocked shots with eight.

Kate Komor played in 11 games and scored four points. She had four rebounds and three defensive picks. Jordan Ramey appeared in ten games and had two rebounds. Aly Fenton was hampered by injury and played in just five games. She scored three points, grabbed six rebounds and had one assist.

Rounding out the Lady Panther roster were freshmen Lily Braasch and Carly Guinn both of whom appeared in nine and 14 games respectively. Braasch did not score, however she did grab 3 rebounds, had 2 assists and 1 steal. Guinn was named this year's Most Improved Player. She scored four points, pulled down four rebounds and had one assist.

Litchfield Girls Basketball

Class of 2019 Career Stats

Lizzy Luttrell: 68 games; 519 total points; 7.6 points per game; two-point field goals 87-of-227 (38.3%); three-point field goals 73-of-240 (30.4%); Free Throws: 126-of-198 (63.6%); 285 rebounds; 87 assists; 95 steals; 11 blocks.

Greta Fleming: 69 games; 145 total points; 2.1 points per game; two-point field goals 56-of-177 (31.6%); three-point field goals 1-of-8 (12.5%); Free Throws: 30-of-69 (43.5%); 127 rebounds; 38 assists; 26 steals; 3 blocks.

Mcall Wertin: 35 games; 46 total points; 1.3 points per game; two-point field goals 21-of-51 (41.2%);  Free Throws: 4-of-16 (25%); 32 rebounds; 3 assists; 3 steals; 1 blocks.

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