By Brent Huelsmann
After finishing in fifth place at the Mascoutah Girls Basketball Invitational Tournament with a 3-1 record, the Hornettes have rattled off three straight wins to start the new year. The Hornettes kicked off the new year with home wins over Carbondale, DuQuoin, and Anna-Jonesboro. The Hornettes pushed their record to 14-4 on the season with a 4-2 record in conference play.
The Hornettes started the new year with a win as they defeated Carbondale 49-43. A close game throughout, neither team could hold an advantage in the game. At the end of the first both teams were tied at 13 points. In the second quarter, Carbondale came out on fire and built a 23-16 lead midway through the frame. But the Hornettes would not go away. Nashville ended the first half on a 10-2 run that gave Nashville a one point lead as the teams went in for halftime.
After the break, the teams would trade the lead throughout the third quarter. A low scoring quarter, Carbondale outscored Nashville 10-8 and took a 35-34 lead into the final quarter of play. In the fourth, both teams would trade the lead back and forth until the Hornettes took the lead for good on a basket by Karly Stanowski. Down the stretch, the Hornettes would get a key three point bucket by Rachael Kell, and three free throws from Libby Ahlers to close out the game.
After the game, Coach Doug Althoff talked about his team's performance."
A win is a win. We just kept grinding it out. We got that lead at the end, and I told them on the bench, this is where good teams get the job done, and take care of the ball, get to the line and win the game, and I think that's what we did tonight."
The Hornettes finished with three players in double figures, led by Stanowski with 16 points. Paige Kasten finished with 12 points, and Kell finished with 11 points. Stanowski finished with 6 points, while Ahlers and Janie Holle rounded out the scoring with five points apiece.
The Hornettes were back in action on Thursday January 5, against DuQuoin, in what was the last of the first round of conference games for the Hornettes. The Hornettes scored early and often, and defeated DuQuoin 44-22.
Nashville took control of the game in the first quarter, as they outscored DuQuoin 11-5 in the first quarter, highlighted by five points from Stanowski. In the second, the Hornettes were able to extend their lead and held a 22-13 lead at the break.
After halftime, Nashville put any thoughts of a comeback to bed as they outscored DuQuoin 16-5 in the quarter. In the third, the Hornettes were led by Kasten, who finished with eight points in the third quarter alone. In the fourth, Nashville was able to cruise to a 44-22 victory.
After the game, Coach Althoff talked about getting a confernece win. "I thought we did a good job of keeping the tempo up, just keep playing hard. I told them at halftime, we had a pretty good lead. I said to just go back out there and start where we left off, and I thought they did a good job in the third quarter. Had a pretty good stretch to score a little bit there and finished the game out. I thought we played really well."
The Hornettes were led by Stanowski who finished with 18 points in the win. Stanowski narrowly missed a double-double with 8 rebounds in the win. Kasten joined Stanowski in double figures with 13 points. Holle finished with six points, followed by Kell with four points. Ahlers scored three points in the win.
In the Hornettes next game, they were able to avenge an early loss to Anna-Jonesboro, defeating the Lady Wildcats 48-28. The Hornettes lost to Anna-Jonesboro on the road in double overtime on December 1.
A four point game after the first quarte, the Hornettes were able to grab a big lead in the second quarter, as they outscored Anna-Jonesboro 16-7 in the second quarter to take a 27-14 lead into halftime. In the third, the Hornettes, continued to build their lead, as they outscored Anna-Jonesboro 9-6 in the third quarter to gake a 16 point lead into the final quarter of play. In the fourth, the Hornettes were able to make free throws to put the game away and avenge an early season loss.
After the game, Althoff talked about the game. "The whole game I thought we played pretty good. Every facet of the game I thought we did a good job, and I'm pretty proud of them."
The Hornettes were led by Holle and Kasten, who each finished with 16 points in the the game, just missing a double-double. Both Ahlers and Kell added six points apiece, and Stanowski rounded out the scoring with four points.