Litchfield Coach Rob Corso's Lady Panthers came within an eyelash of picking up their first win of the season against Greenfield Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27, in Simmons Gym, but with the blink of the eye and a flick of the wrist, junior Alexis Pohlman buried three of her game high 21 points from behind the arc late in the fourth quarter which put the Lady Tigers up 32-30.
Senior Jessa Vetter scored Greenfield's last two points, making the final score 34-30, however Litchfield had three cracks at a tying basket, but couldn't hit the mark before the horn sounded to end the non-conference match-up.
Pohlman finished the game as the leading scorer with 21 points, including two treys and 7-of-8 free throws.
Neither team would shoot well from the floor as Litchfield canned only 13-of-46 attempts, while Greenfield was 10-of-39. The Lady Tigers wore a path to the free-throw line as they dropped in 11-of-17 while Litchfield had only six opportunities and sank three. The Lady Panthers were whistled for 14 personal fouls.
Litchfield fell behind 8-2 in the first quarter before baskets by Carly Guinn and Becky Painter drew the score to within two. Six of Greenfield's nine points scored in the period came from long range as Pohlman and senior Kaityln Foiles each bagged a trey.
Michaela Theivagt added a tally at the free-throw line for Greenfield that was answered by Cara Pence with a deuce. Sophomore Laura Boston's inside score gave the hosts a 10-9 lead first quarter lead.
Litchfield opened an 18-11 lead in the second with four points from Boston, two points from Annika Rhodes and two free throws from Becky Painter, but the next four Greenfield points came 15 feet from the basket as the sound of the Fox 40 electronic whistle put Pohlman at the line and she was a perfect 4-for-4.
Guinn put Litchfield back up by five and Greenfield's 16th point was again scored from the charity stripe by Pohlman, followed by a field goal from freshman Naomi Lansaw that cut the Litchfield lead to 20-18 at the half.
Both teams clawed and scratched their way to establish dominance in the pivotal third and the Lady Tigers held a 27-25 lead late in the quarter, only to have it reversed by freshman Annika Rhodes. Rhodes unleashed a three that touched nothing but net and gave Litchfield a 28-27 lead heading into the fourth.
Missed opportunities and missed shots dogged the Lady Panthers in the period as Litchfield had six looks at the basket and Boston's was the only one to fall. Greenfield put up seven shots and connected on three, the biggest of which was the three-pointer by Pohlman that sealed the deal.
Laura Boston finished the night as Litchfield's leading scorer with 10 points, all of which were scored from the paint. She had three rebounds and an assist.
Cara Pence scored seven points, pulled down 19 rebounds, had four steals and two assists.
Annika Rhodes scored five points, including Litchfield's only three-point basket, had three rebounds and one pick. Becky Painter scored four points, had three rebounds, five and a defensive swipe. Carly Guinn chipped in four points, pulled down two rebounds and dished two assists.
Litchfield scored 24 of their 30 points from within the paint. The Lady Panthers out rebounded their guests 39-26 with 26 from the defensive side and 13 offensive.
With the loss, they are now 0-5 on the season, with three of those losses coming by single digits.
February 27 at Litchfield
Greenfield 9 9 9 7 34
Litchfield 10 10 8 2 30
Greenfield (34) - Alexis Pohlman 21, Jessa Vetter 5, Kaityln Foiles 3, Torrie McAdams 2, Naomi Lansaw 2, Michaela Theivagt 1. Totals: 10-39 11-17 34.
Litchfield (30) - Laura Boston 10, Cara Pence 7, Annika Rhodes 5, Carly Guinn 4, Becky Painter 4. Totals: 13-43 3-6 30.
Three-point field goals: Greenfield 3-14 (Pohlman 2, Foiles 1); Litchfield 1-17 (Rhodes 1).
Records: Litchfield (0-5).
Turnovers are a momentum killer in basketball and points off turnovers are the opponent’s reward. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Gillespie Lady Miners scored over half of their 37 game points off Litchfield turnovers and handed the Lady Panthers a 37-25 conference loss on the home court of the orange and black.
A low scoring first quarter gave the nod to Gillespie by a slim 8-7 margin. The hosts would extend their lead to four points at the half thanks to the inside work by Sydney Bires. The 5’11” senior scored eight of Gillespie’s 12 second quarter points.
For Litchfield, Becky Painter would turn the key for three and added a solo two, while Cara Pence and Laura Boston accounted for the other four points as the half ended with a 20-16 Gillespie lead.
The Lady Miners extended their lead to 24-16 in the third period before Pence got one to fall, followed by a deuce from Carly Guinn that cut the Gillespie lead to a manageable four points.
However, Litchfield did not score another point in the period and found themselves down 27-20 heading into the final eight minutes. Madison Niemeyer, Shelby Taylor and Sydney Bires combined for Gillespie’s seven third quarter points.
A 7-0 scoring run by Gillespie gave the Lady Miners a 14-point cushion before sophomore Laura Boston broke the drought from the charity stripe after sinking 1-of-2 tosses.
A field goal by Cara Pence was the only basket scored in the quarter for Litchfield. Guinn chipped in two charity tosses before the Miners closed it out with a free throw by Keaton Link.
Collectively, the Lady Panthers shot 33 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the free-throw line. They out rebounded their hosts 27-21. Their opponents shot 39 percent from the floor and 40 percent from the charity stripe.
For Litchfield, Painter and Guinn shared scoring honors with eight points each. Litchfield hoisted nine three-pointers with Painter sinking two. They connected for 8-of-21 conventional baskets.
Pence and Boston led their team in rebounding with seven apiece with Lily Braasch grabbing four and Guinn and Annika Rhodes each with three.
Sydney Bires’ led Coach Kevin Gray’s varsity squad with 10 points, followed closely by Keaton Link with eight and Hannah Barrett with six.
February 24 a t Gillespie
Gillespie 8 12 7 10 --- 37
Litchfield 7 9 4 5 --- 25
Gillespie (35) - Sydney Bires 10, Keaton Link 8, Hannah Barrett 6, Shelby Taylor 4, Mikala Hayes 3, Madison Niemeyer 2, Emily Schoen 2, Grace Bertolino 2. Totals: 17-44 2-5 37.
Litchfield (25) - Carly Guinn 8, Becky Painter 8, Cara Pence 6, Laura Boston 3. Totals: 10-30 3-7 25.
Three-point field goals: Gillespie 1-13 (Hayes); Litchfield 2-9 (Painter 2).
Record: Litchfield (0-3, 0-3).