Nixon’s 21 Leads Birds Over Purple Panthers

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The Litchfield Lady Panthers put together their best effort of the season against Southwestern Saturday afternoon, Nov. 27, in the final day of the Litchfield Thanksgiving Classic, but they came up eight points short as the Piasa Birds defeated the tournament hosts 46-38. Coach Darren Mosley’s Birds finished the five-team round robin with one win against three losses.

Twenty-seven of Piasa’s 46 game points came from downtown with Hannah Nixon leading the charge as the senior guard rang up five three-point baskets in the game and finished as the leading scorer with 21 points. 

Litchfield placed seven players in the scoring column and the emergence of an inside game surfaced as junior Laura Boston finished the game with 10 points from the post position to lead the Panthers in scoring. She also contributed five rebounds and three assists. Litchfield’s 38 game points marked the highest offensive production thus far this season.

Southwestern’s MaCaylin Day (2), Hannah Nixon (1) and Morgan Durham (1) nailed four three balls in the first quarter and Piasa led 20-8, but with 47 seconds left, Emma Walch cut the Piasa lead to nine with her own trey. 

Litchfield outscored the Birds 9-7 in the second period and had cut the deficit down to five but Nixon closed out the period with a running layup that dropped for two and the Piasa lead was back to seven at the half.

Nixon held the hot hand in the third quarter as she nailed three more treys and the remainder of Piasa’s points came at the free-throw line as Boston picked up her fourth foul at the three minute mark and went to the bench. 

Morgan Durham visited the charity stripe two times in the period and converted three of four while Day dropped in one of two free throws. Hailey Rentz accounted for three of Litchfield’s five points and Carly Guinn added a solo bucket but the Panther deficit was 15 heading into the final eight minutes.

With Boston back in the lineup, Litchfield enjoyed their most productive eight minutes of the game in the fourth period as the basket went silent for Piasa and the ball was dropping for the Panthers. Addie Green’s three pointer was the only ball to pass through the bottom of the net from floor for Piasa while Darr, Durham and Nixon accounted for three free throws.

A three-point conversion by Lily Braasch cut the Piasa lead to 12 but Green’s trey negated the gain. Elise Walch was instrumental in Litchfield next six points as the freshman scored two from in front of the hoop and in the ensuing possession she found Boston under the basket for two more. At the 4:19 mark, Walch canned two free throws and the Piasa lead was down to nine.

Gina Painter inched the Panthers to within seven with two charity tosses and with 2:24 on the clock, Coach Mosley spread out his offense and the Panthers were forced to foul and stop the clock at 1:22. Nixon missed the front end of the one-and-one and Litchfield grabbed the rebound. 

A Hailey Rentz to Boston connection got the lead down to 43-38 with 1:04 ticks on the clock but the next three points scored in the game went to Southwestern as Darr, Durham and Nixon each added single free throws before a three-point shot off the hands of Rentz fell short and the game ended 46-38, Piasa.

Hailey Rentz had a productive game for Litchfield as she scored five points, pulled down eight rebounds, had four assists and a steal. Lily Braasch finished with seven points, five rebounds and an assist, while Emma Walch had a three and a two point field goal and two assists. 

Elise Walch finished with four points and an assist. Carly Guinn chipped in four points, had two steals and two assists. Gina Painter was 3-of--4 from the free-throw line, had four rebounds and an assist.

The Panthers were 15-of-40 from the floor, 7-of-13 from the free-throw line and 1-of-7 from behind the arc. They pulled down 10 offensive and 16 defensive rebounds, had 14 assists and four steals. 

They will resume play tomorrow, Nov. 29, when they travel to Williamsville and then head to Piasa Southwestern on Thursday, Dec. 2. 

Nov. 27 at Litchfield

Litchfield Thanksgiving Tourney

Southwestern 20 7 13 6 46

Litchfield 11 9 5 13 38

Southwestern (46) - Hannah Nixon 21, McCaylin Day 11, Morgan Durham 7, Addie Green 5, Tristyn Ditterline 2, Gracie Darr 1. Totals: 13 (11-18) 46.

Litchfield (38) - Laura Boston 10, Lily Braasch 7, Hailey Rentz 5, Carly Guinn 4, Emma Walch 5, Elise Walch 4, Gina Painter 3. Totals: 15 (7-13) 38.

Three-point field goal: Southwestern 9 (Nixon 5, Day 2, Durham 1, Green 1); Litchfield 1 - (Emma Walch 1).

Record: Litchfield (0-6); Southwestern (2-4).

22nd Annual Litchfield High School Girls Basketball Round Robin

November 20-27

Saturday, November 20

• Nokomis 72, Southwestern 22

• Litchfield 53, Carlyle 25

Monday, November 22

• Carlyle 63, Nokomis 42

• Staunton 49, Southwestern 29

Tuesday, November 23

• Carlyle 58, Southwestern 21

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

Friday, November 26

6 p.m. - Staunton vs. Carlyle

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

Saturday, November 27

1 p.m. - Litchfield vs. Southwestern

2:30 p.m. - Staunton vs. Nokomis

All-Tournament Team: Audrey Sabol (Nokomis), Hannah Nixon (Southwestern), Savannah Billings (Staunton), Haris Legendre (Staunton), Emma Meyer (Carlyle). MVP: Sophia Hoffman (Carlyle).

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