Basketball communities team up for a good cause

Basketball communities team up for a good cause

Carlinville High School hosts first annual Terry Todt vs. Cancer Shootout

By Jackson Wilson

“I got lemons and I made lemonade.”

A dream came true for long-time WSMI radio broadcaster, Terry Todt, last Saturday at the Big House on West Main.

Apex Physical Therapy and the Montgomery County Cancer Association sponsored an inaugural basketball shootout in an effort to raise money for Todt’s benefit in his ongoing battle against cancer. Ten schools participated in the event and each game drew big crowds. A total of $8,225 was raised for Todt and his family.

All games were broadcasted live on WSMI FM 106.1 radio. Tim Mize, a broadcaster following in Todt’s footsteps and co-organizer of the event, was very touched of such an opportunity to give back to his great friend.

“I actually got a little bit emotional at the end of the broadcast signing off just thinking about Terry and hearing him down here talking. He’s such an awesome guy and he wanted an event like this for a long time,” Mize said.

Todt was named the honorary referee in a ceremonial tipoff before the last game and addressed the crowd following the final buzzer.

“A big thanks goes out to Carlinville High School. They run great tournaments. It’s a great venue. I’ve broadcasted more high school basketball games in this gymnasium than any other gymnasium in the Gillespie area. You can take into account the regular season games, Macoupin County tournaments, holiday tournaments and the postseason tournaments. I love coming here. It’s a terrific place. You all do a great job,” said a grateful Todt to the Carlinville High School staff.

At the conclusion of his speech, Todt was presented with a very special gift – the official shootout sponsored game ball that was used during the boys’ games throughout the day. The girls’ game ball was given to a lucky fan as a silent auction prize.

Other items that were raffled off or auctioned included two sets of four Cardinal baseball tickets, a set of Illini basketball tickets, a Springfield Muni theater pass, a baseball card signed by Yogi Berra, a souvenir item autographed by Bob Gibson, a 1953 St. Louis Cardinals program (signed by Red Schoendist, Enos Slaughter and Harry Caray), a $200 Yeti cooler, a “Taste of Carlinville” basket of gift cards and much more. Fans were also invited to take part in the hoops experience by participating in halftime shooting contests during each game – free throw and half court.

The Carlinville Basketball Boosters were also in attendance and provided concession pork sandwiches packed with meat donated by local farmers.

The early games were dominated by the Litchfield Purple Panthers. Balanced scoring attacks led the girls to a 51-39 victory over Pawnee and the boys to a 50-36 triumph over Lincolnwood.

The Staunton Lady Bulldogs followed with an easy win over Nokomis 59-22. Seniors Savannah Bruhn (18) and Abby Scanzoni (17) combined for 35 points in the Dogs’ pursuit.

Carlinville and Auburn squared off in an afternoon doubleheader. The host Cavaliers used a 15-6 fourth quarter run to pull away 45-35 in the girls’ showdown. Despite falling into a 16-3 hole in the first quarter, the Cavalier boys rallied and trimmed the Trojan lead to single digits before falling short, 35-44.

The Hillsboro Lady Hiltoppers continued their hot streak by making easy work of the Gillespie Lady Miners, 76-43. Sammi Matoush overcame a rough first quarter and finished with 28 points. Kylie Meier’s five three pointers and Jade Scroggins’ 11-point impact provided a solid foundation.

The final two boys’ games of the evening consisted of powerhouse defenses. Metro East Lutheran outlasted Hillsboro 44-37, and Nokomis shut down Staunton 48-26.

Regardless of the result on the scoreboard, all of the teams knew deep down that this day wasn’t about them. Winning was important but the key objective was simply “enjoying some hoops,” as Todt has always said and wished throughout his long and memorable career.

“Without the teams, we wouldn’t have a shootout. To all of the basketball teams, thank you very much. It tugs at my heart. You guys and gals are the absolute greatest. I have had the privilege for over 40 years of sitting and talking about the things you have all accomplished and it has been nothing but a sure pleasure to do so. I hope I can get back to the point when I can do it again,” Todt said.

“We had been planning the T. Todt Shootout vs Cancer for quite a while, and the event turned out great.  Terry is a local icon, a wonderful ambassador to local sports, and all of us were thrilled to have an opportunity to help.  The Basketball Boosters, the Montgomery County Cancer Association, WSMI, and dozens of other volunteers deserve a big thank you,” said Carlinville athletic director and co-organizer Darrin DeNeve.

This event is to become an annual tradition. All proceeds in future years will be made out to the Montgomery County Cancer Association. Next season’s shootout will be hosted by Lincolnwood High School in Todt’s hometown of Raymond.

Fans can order “Todt Tough” shirts online at

Terry Todt wishes the players good luck after taking part in a ceremonial tipoff. Photo by Jackson Wilson.

All of the teams participating in the shootout wore “Todt Tough” shirts in their school colors. Pictured above are the Carlinville Lady Cavaliers with Terry Todt prior to their game against Auburn. Photo by Jackson Wilson.