By Brent Huelsmann
The Hornettes finished up the regular season with big conference wins over Pinckneyville and DuQuoin to lock up their 16th consecutive Southern Illinois River To River: Mississippi Division Conference championship. The Hornettes have now won the conference 27 out of the last 29 years.
The Hornettes clinched the conference title with a win over Pinckneyville on Tuesday, February 2. The Hornettes took the lead in the first quarter, and led throughout as they defeated the Panthers 37-28. The Hornettes relied on Karly Stanowski in the first quarter, as she scored six of the eight points for Nashville in the first quarter. After the first quarter, the Hornettes led 8-3. The Hornettes extended their lead before halftime, to seven points. The Hornettes were able to close out the game in the second half and won 37-28.
Stanowski led the Hornettes with 15 points in the game. Paige Kasten added eight points, followed by Sophie Heck, Vanessa Wyciskalla, and Janie Holle with four points apiece. Mackenzie McFeron rounded out the scoring with two points.
The Hornettes finished up the regular season with their final home game against DuQuoin. The Hornettes controlled the action for much of the game, cruising to a 51-33. Both teams got off to a slow start in the game as the team's combined for 11 points in the first quarter. The Hornettes were able to take the lead at the end of the first quarter, and never trailed again in the game. Going into the second, Nashville led 6-5. In the second, both teams traded points, until the Hornettes finished the quarter on a 4-0 run to take a four point lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of halftime, Nashville put the game away as they got outscored DuQuoin 15-3 in the third quarter. Nashville was led in the quarter by Kasten and McFeron, who both hit two three-pointers in the frame. In the fourth, the Hornettes cruised to a 51-33 victory.
After the game, coach Althoff talked about the balanced scoring, “ perfect, tha's what we've got to do to win, is to spread it around a little bit.”
The Hornettes were led by Stanowski in the win with 13 points, followed by McFeron with 12 points. Kasten added eight points, all of which came in the third quarter, while Holle scored seven points. Heck chipped in six points in the win. Libby Ahlers scored three points in the matchup and Jenna Harris scored two points to round out the scoring.
The Hornettes finished the season with an undefeated record in conference play. The Hornettes have lost just two conference games since 2006. Nashville now moves on to postseason play, as they play in the Dupo Regional. The Hornettes earned the number three seed in their sub-sectional which features Breese Central as the top seed, and Mater Dei as the number 2 seed.
Hornettes Go Undefeated In