LITCHFIELD
BY JACK BULLOCK
Litchfield head coach Drew Logan (81-68) heads into his sixth season running the Purple Panthers from the sidelines.
A Harrisburg native (1998 graduate) he has worn and dealt with a lot of purple uniforms over the years, including eight years coaching at Mount Olive (also purple) before taking over the program at LHS.
This season the Purple Panthers want to avoid the doldrums of a second half of the season that they endured in 2015-16.
After starting the season 9-4, the Panthers limped home playing sub .500 basketball to end up 15-14 with a first round loss to Hillsboro in the Greenville 2A Regional.
They also went 5-4 in the South Central Conference.
Coach Logan will start from scratch in a lot of ways this season, losing to graduation his top five players (six total) from a year ago.
Two of the missing pieces were 1,000-point scorers and another one made up three double-figure scorers now gone.
There are no seniors on the roster heading into 2016-17 with six juniors leading the Panthers.
Six-foot-one junior Cam Morris averaged just 1.8 points a game last season which is the most of the returning players.
Five-foot-nine Chase Lauderdale, 5-foot-8 Alex Bishop and 5-foot-9 Sam Middleton were part of the varsity last season.
Coach Logan mentioned two other juniors; Deundrea Holloway (a transfer from Bunker Hill) and Aaron Guo.
Sophomores who are also unproven include Dylan Hemann, Sam Painter, Seth McGill, Jake Jurgena and Billy Beckham.
This is a young team that, if they play well at the Metro-East Thanksgiving Tournament, could potentially play their first eight games of the season on the road.
Not really the ideal set up for a team full of underclassmen.
“We know this season we lack experience and have some tough shoes to fill,” said Coach Logan, who played basketball at Blackburn College. “We started talking with this group last January about thinking in the span of two seasons and the unique opportunity they have in front of them. They will have an opportunity to build their team over two seasons and see where it can take them.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N20-25 Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tournament J12 Gillespie

N28

Mt. Olive J13-20 Litchfield Invitational Tournament
D1 Staunton J23 @ Bunker Hill
D2 Vandalia J30 Auburn
D5 Piasa Southwestern F2 Greenville
D12 @ Roxana F6 @ Raymond-Lincolnwood
D19 @ Nokomis F9 @ Carlinville
D26-28 Carlinville Holiday Tournament F13 @ Pana
J5 Hillsboro F16 @ Virden North Mac
J9 @ East Alton-Wood River F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD