The Litchfield Purple Panthers and the Saints from Calvary Academy would put together a roller coaster of a basketball game Tuesday night, Dec. 21, in Simmons Gym.
After controlling the beginning of the contest, the Purple Panthers would nearly squander a 12-point lead, but would hold on to a 61-52 non-conference victory. The win over the Calvary Saints would move Litchfield to 5-5 on the year.
Litchfield would use the first six minutes of regulation to build a commanding lead. The Purple Panthers would be clicking on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead. After a free throw by Calvary, Litchfield would get another basket as they would increase their lead to 13-1 with just over two minutes to play in the commanding quarter.
Calvary, though, would find ways to break through the Purple Panthers. Litchfield would begin to struggle to find good shots as they would be forced into bad shots and turnovers, uncharacteristic play by the Purple Panthers.
Calvary would take advantage of the Litchfield miscues as they would put in the final seven points of the quarter. Litchfield would control the scoreboard, though, 13-8, after one quarter of action.
The Purple Panthers again would experience a tale of two halves in the second quarter. Litchfield would begin the quarter on a high note as they would increase their five points to eight in the first two and a half minutes to make it a 20-12 lead.
Again the Saints would find ways to battle back into the contest and even taking their first lead late in the quarter.
Throughout the contest Calvary would be the team to battle back, but it would be the Purple Panthers turn this time as they would not allow the Saints to take control.
Two big three-point baskets from A.J. Odle and Keenan Powell allowed Litchfield to hold on to a 30-26 lead at the half. Powell would have the hot hand in the first half as he connected on 11 points in the first two quarters. The Purple Panthers would have four other scorers in the half.
After having two quarters where Litchfield would start strong and allow Calvary to sneak back into the contest, the Purple Panthers would look to keep the Saints from fighting back.
Again, though, it would be a tale of two halves for the third straight quarter. Litchfield would use the opening minutes of the second half to build on their lead, but would not be able to keep the Saints down.
Trailing by eight, Calvary would come storming back to regain the lead at 41-38 with two and half minutes to play in the third frame.
A big three point basket from Clayton Bishop would square the contest at 41 points apiece and a basket from Victor McGill would allow Litchfield to hold 43-41 lead after three quarters of action.
In the first three quarters Victor McGill would put 11 points on the board.
That would not be enough for the sophomore as he would put on a clinic in the fourth quarter, adding 12 points to his total. The big quarter from McGill would help Litchfield build on their two-point third quarter lead.
McGill would knock down all five of his fourth quarter free throws, as Litchfield would put in seven of their seven free throws attempted in the final quarter. Carson Saathoff would put in the other two free throws.
The effort from the charity stripe would help secure the non-conference win for Litchfield. The victory for Litchfield would not be an easy victory, but would be a good learning tool as the two-win Saints would give the Purple Panthers everything they had. The never give up effort by Litchfield, though, would allow the Panthers to move to 5-5 on the year with a 61-52 victory.
Victor McGill would lead all scorers with 23 points, Keenan Powell would follow with 16, 11 coming in the first half.
Litchfield will next participate in the annual Carlinville Holiday tournament as they enter the tournament as the #2 seed.
Dec. 21 at Litchfield
Calvary 8 18 15 11 52
Litchfield 13 17 13 18 61
Calvary (52) - Connor Brown 17, Ben Crowder 11, James Toller 10, Trent Tholen 7, Jeremiah Sortor 6, Orlando Johnson 1.
Litchfield (61) - Victor McGill 23, Keenan Powell 16, Tate Dobrinich 9, A.J. Odle 6, Clayton Bishop 3, Nate Fetter 2, Carson Saathoff 2. Totals: 22 8-9 61.
Three-point field goals: Calvary 2 (Crowder 1, Brown 1); Litchfield 9 (Powell 3, McGill 2, Odle 2, Dobrinich 1, Bishop 1).
Records: Litchfield (5-5).
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