Lady Vandals finish tourney with a win

LITCHFIELD — The Litchfield Tournament ended on a positive note for the Vandalia Community High School girls basketball team.
The Lady Vandals knocked off Mt. Olive, 60-52, on Saturday  to finish off the 16th Annual Niehaus-McDonald's Thanksgiving Tournament with a solid victory.
Vandalia improved to 3-2 on the season overall with the hard-fought win.
"We'll take this win, and we'll take a 3-2 start to the season," Vandalia Coach Michelle McNary said. "It's been awhile since we've started out with three wins. Hopefully, we can continue to play well and get on a roll with these upcoming games."
In Saturday's game, the Lady Vandals built a nice lead, and then held off Mt. Olive's late charge.
"We handled their pressure pretty well, and our defensive intensity early in the game was a lot better than it was Friday night," McNary said.  "Our offense starting hitting early, and the defense settled in. Things were clicking tonight."
The Lady Vandals went 2-2 in the round-robin tourney, earning wins over Carlinville and Mt. Olive, with losses coming to Nokomis and Litchfield.
"The win over Carlinville was big for us," McNary said. "That's a game we probably wouldn't have won last year. We pulled it out this year. That's a big step in the right direction for this team."
Game Stats
Emma Meyer scored 15 points  and had seven steals to lead the Lady Vandals over the Lady Wildcats. A sophomore guard, Meyer was named to the all-tourney team.
Vandalia junior guard Karlie Bright scored 13 points, while Makayla Tinker added 11, and Leah Francis chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought Emma and Tinker both played really well all tournament," McNary said. "Maddie (Hosick) did a nice job of taking care of the ball and Karlie played good defense. It was a team effort."
Jill Niehaus scored 29 points to lead Mt. Olive, a team that started five sophomores.
Game Recap
Pushing the pace, sharing the ball and getting high-quality shots, the Lady Vandals stormed out to a 12-2 lead and never looked back.
Meyer scored on back-to-back layups to give her team a 22-11 lead in the second period.
The Lady Vandals kept their lead around 10 points for most of the second quarter.
Bright scored two-straight hoops late in the first half, and the Vandals led, 34-23, at intermission.
The third period was even, 12-12, and Vandalia led, 46-35, entering the fourth quarter.
Mt. Olive made a late push in the fourth quarter, with Niehaus doing much of the damage.
The Lady Vandals got sped up a bit at times, causing some turnovers. Still, the closest Mt. Olive got was at 53-46 with 3:25 to play.
The Lady Vandals were able to take care of the ball and make more than enough foul shots down the stretch to pull out the win.
After free throws from Tinker and Hosick, Vandalia was up, 58-48, with less than a minute to play. A couple of late free throws from Tinker secured the win.
"They battled back and pushed us at the end," McNary said of Mt. Olive. "But we hung on. And that's a good sign going forward."

Litchfield too much
A huge third-quarter run propelled Litchfield past Vandalia, 59-34, on Friday night.
"We were flat," McNary said. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively or defensively."
The host Lady Panthers scored 28 points in the third quarter to blow the game open.
Litchfield led, 51-23, by the time the third-period came to an end. Meyer scored 16 points to lead the Lady Vandals.

Lady Vandals edge Cavs
The Lady Vandals got it done in crunch time in a 38-36 win over Carlinville last Monday at the tournament.
Tinker scored 12 points to lead the Lady Vandals, while Meyer added 11 points and eight rebounds. Bright added seven points and five rebounds.
The Lady Vandals got off to a great start, leading 10-4 at the end of the first quarter.
But the second quarter belonged to the Lady Cavaliers. Carlinville outscored Vandalia, 16-6, in the second period, taking a 20-16 lead into halftime.
The Lady Vandals used a 13-8 third period to retake the lead. Vandalia led, 29-28, entering the fourth quarter.
The final frame was close all the way, with Vandalia out-scoring Carlinville, 9-8.
Bright made one free throw with just under a minute to play, giving the Lady Vandals a 38-36 lead.
Tinker stole the ball from the Cavaliers on the final possession to secure the win for Vandalia.
Notes: Litchfield claimed the tourney title for the fifth-straight year.
Litchfield's Abby Brockmeyer was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player. Five players were recognized on the all-tourney team — Brockmeyer, Meyer of Vandalia, Talesha Scott of Carlinville, Tessa Steffens of Litchfield and Ashley Schneider of Nokomis.
Litchfield went 4-0 at the tourney, while Vandalia, Carlinville and Nokomis all went 2-2. Mt. Olive went 0-4.
The Lady Vandals host Gillespie on Thursday night.

Litchfield tourney boxscores
Vandalia 60, Mt. Olive 52
VA  16   18   12   14   —  60
MO   9    14   12    17  —  52
Vandalia: Karlie Bright 6 1-4 13, Leah Francis 4 2-4 10, Kelsey Swain 2 0-0 4, Elizabeth Miller 1 0-0 2, Emma Meyer 6 3-6 15, Madelyn Hosick 2 1-4 5, Makayla Tinker 3 5-6 11, Madison Klanke 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 (0) 12-24 60. Three-pointers: None. Fouls 18.
Mt. Olive: Henke 2 3-4 7, R. Kernich 0 1-2 1, Niehaus 11 6-9 29, Murphy 3 5-6 11, Fields 1 0-0 2, Bollman 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 (1) 15-21 52. Three-pointer: Niehaus. Fouls 17. Fouled out: Niehaus, Murphy.
Litchfield 59, Vandalia 34
VA   6      6    11   11   — 34
LI   13    10    28    8    — 59
Vandalia: A. Miller 0 1-2 1, Bright 1 0-2 2, Francis 2 2-4 6, K. Swain 1 0-0 2, Cannon 0 1-2 1, E. Miller 0 0-2 0, Meyer 5 4-5 16, Hosick 0 2-2 2, Tinker 2 0-0 4, Klanke 0 0-0 0, Marquardt 0 0-0 0, Pasley 0 0-0 0, A. Swain 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 (2) 10-19 34. Three-pointers: Meyer 2. Fouls 14.
Litchfield: Steffens 5 1-4 12, Scharf 4 3-6 11, Smith 4 2-3 10, Frerichs 3 0-1 6, Brockmeyer 4 3-4 10, Wertin 4 0-0 8, Hughes 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 (1) 9-18 59. Three-pointer: Steffens. Fouls 16.
Vandalia 38, Carlinville 36
CA    4   16      8     8    — 36
VA  10     6    13     9   — 38
Vandalia: Bright 1 5-8 7, Francis 1 0-2 2, K. Swain 1 0-0 2, Miller 0 0-0 0, Meyer 3 2-3 11, Hosick 1 2-2 4, Tinker 6 0-0 12. Totals 13 (1) 9-15 38. Three-pointers: Meyer. Assists 8 (Hosick 3). Rebounds 22 (Meyer 8). Steals 11 (Bright 3, Francis 3). Fouls 16. Turnovers 19.
Carlinville: Hannig 1 0-0 2, Schmidt 1 0-0 2, Kulenkamp 1 2-4 4, Scott 4 6-11 14, Kelly 4 0-0 8, Zachary 1 0-0 2, Stayton 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 (0) 8-15 36. Three-pointers: None. Fouls 19. Turnovers 5.

Karlie Bright scores against Mt. Olive.

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