Karly Stanowski battles down low against the Lady Warriors in the Hornettes season opening 42-31 win over Wesclin. Stanowski led the Hornettes with 13 points.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes girls basketball team opened up the season with a 42-31 win over Wesclin on November 20. With Nashville trailing for most of the contest, the Hornettes took the lead late, and would make free throws down the stretch to take the 11 point win.
The entire first quarter was a back and forth affair, as neither team gained a significant advantage early on. Wesclin and Nashville would trade the lead eight times in the first, with neither team being up more than two points. Nashville’s early offense came from Libby Ahlers and Karly Stanowski, who each had five points in the frame. At the end of the quarter, the two teams were tied at 10.
In the second, the Lady Warriors began to hit some outside shots, which gave them a three point lead early. The Hornettes would battle back to take a one point advantage at 16-15, but Wesclin would score the final four points of the half, to take a 19-16 lead into the break.
Early in the third, senior Paige Kasten would knock down her first shot of the game, to close the gap within one, but Wesclin would again pull away as a big three from Ellie Wessel gave Wesclin a 29-23 lead over the Hornettes. Again the Hornettes would make a run of their own, as Nashville scored the final four points of the quarter to go into the fourth, down by just two.
In the fourth, Nashville quickly took the lead on a three pointer from Kasten, but Wesclin took the lead right back at 31-30 on a basket by Gracie Reymond. It would be the last points the Lady Warriors scored in the game. Nashville scored the final 12 points of the contest, with one of the biggest shots coming from Sophie Heck. With Nashville up by one, Heck stepped behind the line and drilled a three pointer to give the Hornettes a 35-31 lead late in the contest. After the game, Hornettes coach Doug Althoff talked about the shot by Heck. “I thought the biggest shot was the one Sophie Heck hit. At the time, that was huge, and you could just see that it kind of took the wind out of them. And then we just fought and held on.” Down the stretch, the Hornettes would make seven of nine from the charity stripe to seal the win.
After the game Wesclin coach Ben Crawford talked about the matchup problem of Stanowski. “Stanowski, she’s tough inside, she did her job. That’s a tough matchup for us. That’s a tough matchup for anybody. She’s just a big girl, she does really well in there.” Crawford went on to commend the Hornettes for their job down the stretch. Late in the game, in the fourth quarter, most of their points came in free throws. They got their lead late enough that we had to foul. They were able to make their free throws. Good for them, they are a good free throw shooting team, to be able to pull that out.”
Althoff also talked about it being the first game of the season, “we come out, we were a little rusty and it showed. Wesclin is a good team, and they are going to beat some good teams. They beat Pinckneyville the other night. We went and watched it and they played really well and I thought, they’re going to be a handful for a lot of teams. They just play so hard. That was our first game, and the first half you could tell that was their second or third game, and our first game.
Stanowski led the Hornettes with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Ahlers and Kasten finished with eight points apiece, followed by Heck with seven. Rachael Kell finished with four points in the season opening win, and Emily Stern rounded out the scoring with two points