By Brent Huelamsnn
The Nashville Hornettes girls basketball team, opened up conference play with a 46-37 win over the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats. The Hornettes have had success in conference play over the past decade. Nashville has won the conference championship every year since 2000.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the first quarter. Over halfway through the first quarter both teams combined for three points with the Hornettes holding a 2-1 lead. The Hornettes were able to end the quarter on a 6-0 run, after Paige Kasten hit back to back three pointers.
After holding a six point lead after the end of the first quarter, the Hornettes would extend the lead to as high as eight points before Anna-Jonesboro made a run late in the quarter. After Mackenzie McFeron gave Nashville their largest lead of the game at that point, the Wildcats went on a 5-0 run to close the gap. Turnovers plagued the Hornettes all through the first half, as they finished the half with seven turnovers. The Hornettes were able to hold onto the lead as they led 17-15 at halftime.
Coming out of halftime the Hornettes took control of the game. With a two point lead at the start of the half, the Hornettes went on 11-0 run to begin the half, keeping the Wildcats scoreless until there was 3:30 left in the quarter. The Hornettes would go onto to have a nine point lead going into the final stanza.
The fourth quarter started with a quick 4-0 run by the Wildcats, but the Hornettes stayed in control throughout the quarter. Although the Hornettes struggled with their free throws down the stretch, Nashville was able to hold onto the 46-37 victory.
McFeron was one of three Hornettes players in double figures in the game with 13 points. Karli Stanowski scored 12 points in the game for Nashville and Kasten chipped in 10 points in the win. Janie Holle had seven points in the game and Rachael Kell had four points to round out the scoring.
After the game Coach Doug Althoff talked of the importance of the first and third quarters. “The first four minutes of the game, and the first four minutes of the second half are always huge. It’s like when we played Mascoutah, we had a bad first four minutes of the third quarter, and it just let them back in the game. If you play hard those first four minutes you give yourself a little breathing room there and you can come out and close the game on them.”
The Hornettes record stands at 3-2 on the year. . The Hornettes will continue their conference slate, when they travel to Sparta on December 8. The Hornettes will be in action on the road on December 10 against Herrin. Nashville's next home game is December 21 against Pinckneyville.