Freshman Megan Godoyo had her best varsity performance, but more than 20 Vandal turnovers allowed Litchfield to spoil senior night with a 68-60 victory last Friday.
Godoyo finished the game with a career-high 16 points and came one rebound short of a double-double.
She played a lot of minutes at the point guard position, both to spell junior Haley Wollerman, who suffered an ankle injury at Carlinville the night before, and because coach Michelle McNary plans to start Godoyo there next season.
“She took care of the ball in the second half,” McNary said. “She’s a little bit stronger than Haley, so she has a better chance of making it in (on a driving layup) and getting the foul.”
Five times in the game Godoyo did just that, but she only scored a bucket once. On the free throws, however, Godoyo was 6-for-9.
Three of those trips came in the first half, and each of them was after Godoyo had grabbed an offensive rebound.
Point guards are not typically responsible for grabbing rebounds, but Godoyo is a well-built 5-foot-6 and has strong leaping ability.
As a freshman, Godoyo played in every game of the season, but McNary said there were none better than her performance against Litchfield.
“At the varsity level, yes (that was her best game),” McNary said. “She knows she is capable of that, but as a freshman, you lay back and are content to take a role.”
With 36 seconds left in the game, however, Godoyo made arguably the Lady Vandals’ best play of the night.
Wollerman had made a 3-pointer just four seconds earlier to cut Vandalia’s deficit to six, and Godoyo quickly stole the ball after it was inbounded and scored, leaving the Lady Vandals behind, 62-58.
From there, Vandalia intentionally fouled, but Litchfield made 5-of-6 free-throw attempts, while holding the Lady Vandals to just two more points to secure the victory and spoil the celebration of senior players Amy Walton and Megan Shreve, and statistician Alexa Campbell.
Neither player showed up significantly on the stat sheet – Walton had two rebounds and one point, and Shreve had one rebound – but their leadership and commitment to perform small tasks such as boxing out and making strong passes have made them necessary players.
Litchfield, however, quickly dashed the excitement on senior night, opening an 8-2 lead after 3:18 of play. Junior Hannah Edwards made a second-chance layup on the ensuing possession, and Wollerman followed her shot up with a driving layup to cut the Lady Panthers’ lead to three.
Edwards led the team with 10 rebounds, and Wollerman was the top scorer with 20 points.
“We played pretty well, but we had a few key things that cost us,” McNary said. “I’m not really disappointed with our effort.”
In the second period, the Lady Vandals fell behind by as many as 10 points, but they made 9-of-10 free throws in the quarter, and Wollerman hit a 3-pointer with 37.5 seconds remaining in the first half to hold Litchfield’s lead to just 35-31.
“Luckily, we hit our free throws,” McNary said. “When we went to Litchfield, we probably would have won had we made our free throws like we made them tonight.”
In that game, a 74-64 loss, the Lady Vandals went to the line 30 times, but only converted on 18 of the free shots. On Friday, Vandalia made 20-of-27 free throws.
The Lady Vandals trailed by five to eight points for most of the second half, never closing the gap to less than four.
Friday, Feb. 4
Points – Wollerman, 20; Godoyo, 16; Amber Bruno, 14; Edwards, 7; Morgan Whightsil, 2; Walton, 1.
Rebounds – Edwards, 10; Godoyo, 9; Whightsil, 4; Wollerman, 3; Walton, 2; Bruno, 1; Shreve, 1.