Hornettes Escape Pinckneyville, Split At Mascoutah Tournament

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By Brent Huelsmann

In a game of runs, the Hornettes were able to come out on top over the Pinckneyville Panthers on December 22. The Hornettes led throughout the game, but Pinckneyville rallied late. The Hornettes held on for a 28-25 win.

Neither team got going offensively in the first quarter, but the Hornettes were able to take a three point lead into the second quarter. Neither team got on the board for the first two minutes of the contest, until Mackenzie McFeron made a free throw to give the Hornettes a 1-0 lead. Each team made just two shots from the floor in the first quarter, and Nashville held a 7-4 lead after the first.

The Hornettes would take their biggest lead of the first half, early in the second quarter, as a free throw by Karli Stanowski gave the Hornettes a 10-4 lead. The Hornettes defense held Pinckneyville scoreless until the 3:33 mark in the second quarter, which would be the only points for the Panthers in the quarter. The Hornettes were able to go into halftime with an 11-6 lead.

Coming out in the second half, the Panthers cut the Hornettes lead to just two points on a a three pointer by Raygan Yates. The Hornettes would then go on a 13-0 run to give the Hornettes a 24-11 lead. The Panthers would then take control of the game as they ended the third quarter on a 10-0 run to cut the Hornettes lead to just five points going into the final stanza.

The Panthers would continue their run in the fourth, as the run eventually got to 16-0 to give Pinckneyville a 25-24 lead over the Hornettes. From there the Hornettes defense held Pinckneyville scoreless the rest of the game. The Hornettes would finally get on the board in the quarter, with two free throws by McFeron to give Nashville a 26-25 lead. The Hornettes would hold on for a 28-25 victory.

After the game, Coach Althoff talked about the crazy second half, “ I give them credit, they did a good job and fought back and actually got lead on us, and I give out girls credit too, cause we didn't fold there and kept fighting and got the lead back.”

McFeron and Stanowski each had nine points in the contest for the Hornettes. Stanowski also had a big game on the boards as she had 17 rebounds in the game. Althoff talked of Stanowski after the game, “ If it's close to her, she's got those strong hands, and if she gets her hands on in, there's a pretty good chance, she's gonna get that rebound. Janie Holle scored seven points for the Hornettes and Rachael Kell scored three points to round out the scoring.

The Hornettes could not overcome the defensive pressure in their first matchup in the Mascoutah Girls Basketball Tournament against the O’Fallon Panthers on Monday morning. The Hornettes dropped the matchup by a score of 45-52.

The Hornettes got off to a good start, as they raced off to a 5-0 lead to begin the game, but could not hold the lead throughout the first quarter, as O’Fallon came right back to tie the game. The Hornettes lost the lead, and never regained it in the matchup. The Hornettes would be able to tie the game at 16 late in the first, but a three pointer by Becca Althoff gave the Panthers the lead for good.

The Hornettes would not get closer than two the rest of the game, as the Panthers pressured the Hornettes, and made it tough for Nashville to run their offense. After trailing by 11 midway through the second quarter, the Hornettes went on a 6-0 run highlighted by three pointers by Sophie Heck and Paige Kasten to cut the Panthers lead to five. The Hornettes trailed 25-30 at halftime.

Coming out of halftime, O’Fallon extended their lead up to nine early in the third quarter. The Hornettes could not chip away, and O’Fallon would go into the final quarter with a 10 point lead. In the final quarter, the Hornettes could only get as close as seven points. Down the stretch O’Fallon was able to make their free throws on their way to a 52-45 win.

Coach Althoff, says although they expected O’Fallon’s pressure defense it was difficult to get into their offensive sets throughout the matchup. “You really can’t runs sets, you just have to play basketball. I tried to get them to attack the basket more, and I think when we did we got some open shots, but they’re kind of long, it’s hard to see past them. I can’t complain we scored 45 points, the problem was more on the other end, not being able to stop them.”

The Hornettes were led in the game by Kasten with 14 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter. Mackenzie McFeron joined Kasten in double figures with 11 points in the game. Karli Stanowski scored eight points in the game, followed by Heck with five points. Janie Holle scored four points for the Hornettes and Rachael Kell scored 3 points to round out the scoring.

After suffering a loss at the hands of O’Fallon during the first round of the Mascoutah Girls Basketball Invitational, the Hornettes were shuffled into the consolation bracket. In order to keep playing in the tournament the Hornettes had to defeat Althoff. The game was an early start, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The early start did not seem to bother the Hornettes as they jumped out to a five point lead after the first quarter of play. Early, the three-point shot was falling for Nashville, as Paige Kasten hit three from downtown in the first quarter, and Rachael Kell added another. The Hornettes led 15-10 after the first quarter of play. Coach Althoff talked about the first quarter after the game, “ That game right there being so early in the morning, it’s crucial to get off to a good start, I wouldn’t say that was a great start for us, but we did get that lead, and got ahead of them.”

Both offenses slowed down in the second quarter, the Hornettes only field goal of the quarter came on a three pointer by Mackenzie McFeron. The only other point for the Hornettes in the quarter, was scored by Karli Stanowski on a free throw. The Crusaders could not gain any ground, as they only could manage two field goals in the quarter. The Hornettes went into halftime with a 19-14 lead.

After the outside shot was falling in the first half, the Hornettes began to go inside after halftime. The Hornettes began to get to the line often in the third quarter. Stanowski made five free throws in the third quarter, Stanowski helped the Hornettes extend the lead to 30-19 going into the final quarter. Coach Althoff talked about Stanowski after the game, “I talked to her at halftime, to try to get her to pick up her game a little bit and she certainly responded.”

The Hornettes again, got to the line in the fourth quarter, shooting 18 free throws in the fourth alone. Stanowski was at the free throw line the most in the quarter going 8-12 in the fourth. McFeron also got to the free throw line making 5-6 in the quarter. The Hornettes would be able to hold on for the win by a score of 47-39.

Overall in the game the Hornettes shot 22 more free throws than the Crusaders. Coach Althoff attributed the free throw differential, to the fact that the Hornettes got a lead early, and forced the Crusaders to pressure the ball, allowing the Hornettes to get to the line.

The Hornettes were led by Stanowski who finished with 18 points and was 14-19 from the free throw line. McFeron scored 13 for Nashville, with eight points coming via the free throw. Kasten chipped in 11 points, with all 11 coming in the first quarter of play. Kell scored three points, followed by Holle with two points in the contest.

Mackenzie McFeron dribbles past a Pinckneyville defender in the second half of the Hornettes win over the Panthers on December 22.