By Brent Huelsmann
The Hornettes girls basketball team was defeated by Carbondale, but were able to bounce back to stay perfect in conference play against DuQuoin and Anna-Jonesboro. The matchup against DuQuoin was the last in the first round of conference games for the Hornettes. Nashville went unscathed through their first five conference games of the season.
The Hornettes got off to a slow start against Carbondale on January 5, and were never able to bounce back, as Carbondale took the game 49-37. The Hornettes were outscored 12-2 in the first quarter, and never were able to overtake Carbondale in the contest. The Hornettes made a run in the second quarter as, Paige Kasten scored six points in the quarter, and Mackenzie McFeron scored five. The Hornettes would outscore Carbondale 13-5 in the second quarter, to only trail by two points at the halftime break.
Carbondale would come out in the second half and be able to extend their lead, as they outscored Nashville 17-11 in the third quarter, to take an eight point lead in the final stanza. The Hornettes could not come back in the fourth, as they were outscored 12-11 in the final quarter. The Hornettes fell by a score of 49-37.
Leading the Hornettes in the game was McFeron with 17 points. Kasten made three threes in the game to finish with 9 points. Karli Stanowski scored six points in the loss and Janie Holle scored five points to round out the scoring.
The Hornettes then went on to finish the first half of their conference schedule, as they traveled to DuQuoin to take on the Lady Indians. The Hornettes trailed early, but came back late. The game was ended prematurely with 18.3 seconds left in the game, after a scary collision. Katie Smith and Hannah Baxter collided as they both were going for a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. The referees and the coaches decided to call the game, and run off the last 18.3 seconds to give the Hornettes a 44-28 win.
The Hornettes again started off slow in the matchup as they went back and forth with the Lady Indians in the first quarter. At the end of the first, the Lady Indians had a slight 12-11 lead over the Hornettes. To begin the second the Lady Indians were able to put separation between themselves and the Hornettes, as they began the second quarter on a 6-0 run. The Hornettes would not go down queitely as a basket with 3:54 left spurred a 6-0 run by the Hornettes to get them back within one. The Lady Indians were able to keep the lead, and held a 20-18 halftime lead over Nashville.
Coming out of halftime the Hornettes defense clamped down, as Nashville took control of the game. The Hornettes would outscore DuQuoin 13-0 in the third quarter, led by Kasten and McFeron with five points apiece in the quarter. The big quarter by Nashville, gave the Hornetts a 31-20 lead going into the final quarter. The Hornettes were able to keep the defensive pressure up, as DuQuoin did not get their first field goal of the second half until 4:20 left in the fourth quarter. The Hornettes would be able to cruise til the game was stopped late in the fourth.
After the game coach Doug Althoff talked about the end of the game, “ It's a bad deal for them, they've had so many injuries all year, and they just got just about everyone back, and one of their girls hurts her knee and then they have that happen at the end, I feel sorry for them and you hate to see that happen.” Coach Althoff also talked of his team's second half play, “I challenged them at halftime, and said you know, you guys gotta play a little harder, and they responded, and we got'em shut down finally and had a good third and fourth quarter.”
The Hornettes had three players in double figures in the win. McFeron led the team with 14 points, 10 of which came on free throws. Kasten and Stanowski had 10 points apiece in the win for Nasvhille. Rachael Kell added five points followed by Sophie Heck scored three points. Holle scored two points to round out the scoring for the Hornettes.
In their next game, the Hornettes used a big first half and a balanced scoring effort to roll past Anna-Jonesboro 52-45 for the second time this season, to stay perfect in conference play. The Hornettes finished with four players in double figures in the game.
The Hornettes started off quick in the game, as the Hornettes outscored the Lady Wildcats 12-6 in the first quarter, and continued to lead throughout the game. The Hornettes were able to extend their lead to nine points going into halftime, as Nashville outscored Anna-Jonesboro 11-8 in the second quarter.
Coming out of halftime, the Lady Wildcats were able to make a run, and cut the Hornettes lead to just three points going into the final stanza. The Lady Wildcats were led in the third quarter by Elle Basler, who scored 12 of her game-high 25 points in the third quarter.
With their lead shrunk to three going into the final quarter, the Hornettes were able to regain control of the game down the stretch by making their free-throws. In the fourth quarter the Hornettes went 12-16 from the line. The Hornettes also got two big three pointers from Kasten in the quarter. The Hornettes would outscore the Lady Wildcats 18-14 in the final stanza to win the game 52-45.
Leading the Hornettes in the matchup was Kasten with 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half of play. McFeron added 11 points in the win, followed by Stanowski and Holle with 10 points apiece. Kell added five points, while Jordan Stiegman scored two points to end the scoring for the Hornettes.