By Brent Huelsmann
The Hornettes kept their perfect conference record in tact with two key wins over the Sparta Lady Bulldogs, and the Carterville Lady Lions this past week. The Hornettes finished up the week with a big matchup on the road against the Mater Dei Knights on Saturday January 30.
In a game where both teams struggled to put up offense, the Hornettes used a big fourth quarter, to put away the Lady Bulldogs 30-16 to stay perfect in conference play. In the game, the Hornettes were without their leading scorer Mackenzie Mcferon. In McFeron's place, freshman Libby Ahlers got her first varsity start of the season for Nashville.
Both teams got off to a slow start, and Sparta was able to take a 6-4 lead after the first quarter of play. In the second quarter, the Hornettes defense cracked down, holding Sparta scoreless in the frame. The Hornettes were able to outscore the Lady Bulldogs 7-0 in the quarter to take an 11-6 lead at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, both teams continued to struggle from the field. Each team managed only three points in the quarter, giving Nashville a 14-9 lead going into the final stanza. In the fourth, Janie Holle took control for Nashville as she scored nine of her 11 points in the frame. Holle's big fourth quarter allowed the Hornettes to have some breathing room as time wound down, allowing the Hornettes to cruise to a 14 point victory.
Holle led the Hornettes with 11 points in the game. Karly Stanowski added seven points, followed by Paige Kasten and Ahlers with four points apiece. Carli Hoffman added two points, while Vanessa Wyciskalla, and Sophie Heck added one point apiece to round out the scoring.
The Hornettes then turned their attention to the Carterville Lady Lions on January 28. The Hornettes took the lead early and never trailed in the matchup, as they defeated Carterville 49-40. Nashville took an early 10-4 lead, but Carterville closed within one in the closing minute of the quarter. A three point play by Stanowski pushed the Hornettes lead to four going into the second quarter. Nashville took control in the second quarter, pushing their lead to 11 points, outscoring Carterville 17-10 in the frame. The Hornettes led 30-19 at halftime. Carterville was able to make a run in the third quarter, as they cut the Hornettes lead to six points going into the final quarter. Down the stretch, the Hornettes got big baskets from Stanowski, McFeron, and Rachael Kell to put the game away, and keep the Hornettes perfect in conference play.
Stanowski led the Hornettes in the game, with 20 points and 12 rebounds. McFeron joined Stanowski in double figures with 12 points in the win. Kell and Sophie Heck scored four points apiece in the game, followed by Holle with three points.
The Hornettes moved on to take on Mater Dei in a matchup of the top two seeds in the IHSA Dupo Regional that will take place beginning February 12. The Hornettes took the lead early but couldn’t hold on for the victory as Mater Dei won 41-28.
The Hornettes were able to take an early three point lead, but Mater Dei was able to take a one point lead going into the second. Nashville struggled in the second quarter, as Mater Dei held the Hornettes scoreless until Stanowski connected on a free throw with no time on the clock in the quarter. At half Mater Dei led Nashville 16-9. Nasvhille came out of halftime, and made a run, as a three-point basket by Kasten cut the Mater Dei lead to five points. Mater Dei stopped the Hornettes momentum with a quick 6-0 run to take control of the game. Going into the fourth, Nashville got some momentum as Kell connected on a three pointer at the buzzer. Kell’s three pointer shrunk Mater Dei’s lead to six points going into the final stanza. In the fourth, the Hornettes could not make a comeback, as Mater Dei won 41-28.
After the game Coach Althoff talked about scoring just one point in the second quarter, “It’s been an achilles heal for us, we have those stretches where we just can’t seem to find a bucket, but you just have to fight through it and hopefully you get them stopped on the other end and keep trying to score, that’s all you can do.”
McFeron and Stanowski led Nashville with nine points apiece in the loss. Libby Ahlers scored four points followed by Kasten and Kell with three points apiece. The Hornettes will play Pinckneyville on Tuesday night before finishing up the regualr season against DuQuoin.
The Hornettes will begin regional play on Tuesday February 16 in the Dupo Regional, where they take on Dupo. The Hornettes were given the number 3 seed in the regional.