Skip to content

Hornettes Fall In Sectional Championship

Rachael Kell knocks down a three during the Hornettes Sectional Semi-Final win over the Harrisburg Lady Bulldogs on February 14. Kell finished with 17 points in the game.

By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes girls basketball team came to a screeching halt this past week in the Sectional Championship game against Mater Dei. It was the second straight season, that the Hornettes’ season was ended by Mater Dei. The Hornettes advanced to the Sectional Championship by defeating the Harrisburg Lady Bulldogs. The Hornettes ended the season with a 25-7 record.
The Hornettes clinched a berth in the Sectional Championship with another thrilling game. Both Harrisburg and Nashville went down to the wire, but the Hornettes were able to come away with a 36-32 victory. A close game throughout, neither team had a lead of more than three points until the final buzzer.
The Hornettes struggled from the field in the first, as Nashville missed seven shots from the floor. The Hornettes got a boost from Rachael Kell, as she connected on two of her four three pointers in the first quarter to help Nashville to a 8-6 lead going into the second quarter. Kell stayed hot in the second as she connected on two more threes, the last of which kept the Hornettes ahead at halftime. As time wound down, Kell connected from behind the arc, putting the Hornettes ahead by three. A late bucket by Harrisburg would cut Nashville’s lead to 16-15 at halftime.
After the break, Harrisburg would make a run as they took their largest lead of the game at 24-21. But again the Hornettes would bounce back and tie the game late. The two teams would go into the final stanza tied at 26.
In the fourth, Harrisburg grabbed an early lead, but Paige Kasten knocked down her first shot of the game, a three pointer that gave the Hornettes a 29-28 lead over the Lady Bulldogs. Harrisburg would come back to tie the game, but would not be able to grab the lead the rest of the way. Harrisburg would tie the game at 29 and 32 down the stretch, but each time, the Hornettes would grab the lead back. The game winning basket for Nashville came from Kell, as she hit a shot with less than a minute remaining. Janie Holle would knock down two free throws to seal the win for Nashville.
After the game, Kell said she was confident going into the contest. “I told coach Mueller before we even left the gym, that I was feeling it tonight, and I wanted the ball in my hands because I knew I was going to knock it down.”
Coach Doug Althoff would talk about the game-winning bucket. “That’s actually what we had planned. We got on offense there, kind of semi-stall, and we’re always looking for a layup like we got there, and Rachael hit a big shot. Rachael Kell had a huge night for us tonight. She was very good for us tonight.”
Kell led all scorers in the game with 17 points in the win. Holle added 11 points, nine of which came after halftime. Kasten scored three points on a three pointer in the fourth quarter. Both Sophie Heck and Libby Ahlers finished with two points, and Karly Stanowski scored one point.
The win over Harrisburg put the Hornettes in a familiar place. For the sixteenth time in the last 17 seasons, the Nashville Hornettes found themselves in the Sectional Championship game. The Hornettes would face off against a familiar foe as they took on the Mater Dei Lady Knights.
A close game in the first half, the Hornettes were stifled by Mater Dei’s defense the rest of the way as Mater Dei advanced to the Super Sectionals with a 46-24 win. Both teams started out slow as the teams combined for seven points in the first quarter. The Hornettes struggled from the field in the first, as they connected on just one shot. Mater Dei wasn’t much better, as the Lady Knights connected on two shots, one of which was a three pointer.In the second, the Hornettes took their one and only lead of the game at 6-5. THe Hornettes would extend the lead to 8-5 before Mater Dei ended the half on a 6-0 run to take a 11-10 lead into the break.
After half, Mater Dei continued to pull away. The Lady Knights would quickly extend their lead to 14-10, and the Hornettes were only able to get as close as two the rest of the way. After Nashville cut the Mater Dei lead to 16-14, the Lady Knights would got on a 13-0 run throughout the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter. The Lady Knights were up 25-14 after the third and were led by Logan Braundmeier who finished with 8 points in the quarter.
In the fourth, the Lady Knights continued to extend their lead. Mater Dei outscored Nashville 21-10 in the fourth to advance to the Super-Sectionals with a 46-24 victory.
The Hornettes were led by Kasten who finished with 10 points. Ahlers scored five points in the loss followed by Stanowski with four points. Sabrina Kollbaum, Emily Stern and Janie Holle each had two points to round out the scoring.
After the game, Coach Althoff praised Mater Dei’s defense. “It’s because of them. Their defense was stellar, we just couldn’t do anything. All the credit goes to their defense. It was unbelievable.”
Mater Dei was led by Kelsey Gerdes with 11 points and Braundmeier with 10 points. Mater Dei’s season would come to an end with a 43-36 loss to Camp Point Central Co-op in the Super Sectionals.

Leave a Comment