Highland Tournament Tips Off

Sophie Heck puts up a shot during the Hornettes win over Carlyle on January 11.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes are in the midst of one of their busiest stretches of the season as the Highland Tournament is in full swing. Nashville picked up a win over Carlyle on January 11 before the Highland Tournament began on January 13. The Hornettes defeated Salem in their first game of the tournament, but fell to Civic Memorial in their second game. The Hornettes will now face Okawville at 5 p.m. on January 18.
In their last game before tournament play began, the Nashville Hornettes defeated Carlyle 45-35 on January 11.
The Hornettes rushed out to a 12-7 lead after the first quarter of play, and were able to build on their lead in before the break. The Hornettes led by as many as 13 in the second, but Carlyle knocked down a three late to cut the Hornettes lead to 23-13 at halftime.
After the break, Nashville gain was able to again build on their lead. The Hornettes outscored Carlyle 10-5 in the third to take a 33-18 lead into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth, Carlyle would rally. After the Hornettes went up 37-18, Carlyle would score 17 of the final 25 points to close the gap. Most of the damage from Carlyle would be done by Brooklyn Smith who finished with 10 points in the fourth quarter alone. The Hornettes would make enough free throws down the stretch to keep Carlyle at bay and hold on for the ten point win.
After the game, Hornettes coach Doug Althoff was not satisfied with his team’s performance despite the win. “I just don’t think we played very well. Plain and simple. We can play better than that. I just didn’t think our effort was that great tonight. We won, and I give a lot of credit to Carlyle. They just played a lot harder than us. They outrebounded us, they got to the loose ball, and in my opinion, I think we are kind of fortunate we won tonight.”
Paige Kasten led Nashville with 10 points in the win, followed by Karly Stanowski, who finished with nine points. Stanowski also broke the NCHS school record for career rebounds in the third quarter. Libby Ahlers finished with eight points, while Sabrina Kollbaum finished with seven points. Sophie Heck and Emily Stern each added four points. Rachael Kell rounded out the scoring with three points.
The Hornettes tipped off in the Highland Tournament on January 13 as they took on the Salem Lady Wildcats. Nashville used a big third quarter to pull away, and made just enough free throws in the final quarter to defeat Salem 42-39.
The Hornettes got off to a quick start in the first, as Kasten knocked down a three to begin the game. Nashville eventually took a 9-4 lead midway through the frame, but Salem scored seven of the final nine points to tie the game heading into quarter two.
In the second, the teams would go back and forth through the middle part until Libby Ahlers hit a bucket right before half to give the Hornettes a 19-18 lead at the break.
After half, Stanowski took over. Stanowski scored 15 points in the third quarter alone, the only Nashville player to score. Defensively the Hornettes held Salem to just six points and turned a one point lead at half, to a ten point lead at the end of the third.
The fourth quarter saw the Lady Wildcats continue to chip away at the Hornettes lead. Salem outscored Nashville 12-4 to begin the quarter, and trailed only 38-36 midway through the final quarter. Down the stretch the Hornettes got big free throws from Kollbaum and Kasten to hold on for a 42-39 win.
The Hornettes went just 4-12 in the fourth quarter from the free throw line, something Coach Althoff talked about after the game. “Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t. If we make them it would have been a lot more comfortable, but we made enough of them to win the game. That last one was a huge one, it kind of put them behind the eight ball a little bit. It’s a great win for us, Salem is a quality, quality program, and I’m very happy to win that game.
Althoff went on to praise Salem and talk about halftime adjustments. “You have to give credit to Salem, they play some hard nosed defense, they are up in your grill, and we kind of forced it a little bit, we weren’t breaking them down enough, and not finding open people when we did penetrate. We adjusted a little bit at halftime, and started getting inside more, and Karly kind of took over.”
Overall Stanowski led Nashville with 23 points. Kasten finished with six points, followed by Kollbaum with five points. Ahlers added four points, and Stern rounded out the scoring with two points.
In the Hornettes second game of the tournament, Nashville faced tough competition as they took on Civic Memorial. Civic Memorial came into the game state ranked in Class 3A. A hard fought game, saw the Eagles pull away in the fourth to take a 49-34 win.
The Eagles jumped out to an 8-2 lead early before the Hornettes offense got rolling. The Hornettes would scored eight straight points to take a 10-2 lead, but it would be the Hornettes only lead of the contest. Civic Memorial scored six of the final seven points and led 14-11 at the end of the first.
As the second quarter got underway, the Eagles began to build a lead, but the Hornettes would fight back. Civic Memorial led 18-11 early in the second, but Nashville again cut the lead to three during the middle portion of the quarter. A late run by the Eagles gave Civic Memorial a 27-18 halftime lead.
In the third, the Hornettes would keep the lead hovering between seven and nine points, before turnovers allowed Civic Memorial to build their lead further. With Nashville trailing 30-24, the Eagles would score nine of the final 11 points to take a 39-26 lead into the fourth.
Late in the third quarter, the Hornettes would get two free throws from Stanowski. The two free throws from Stanowski would break the NCHS School Record for career made free throws, which was set by Shawn Rennegarbe. The previous record was 334.
In the fourth, Nashville would work on trimming the Eagles’ lead, and got within ten points, towards the later part of the fourth, but Civic Memorial would knock down free throws, and get a big three late to put away Nashville for good and take a 49-34 win.
After the game coach Althoff was proud of the way his team battled. “I can’t ask for anything more of our girls. There is a lot of teams that has 20 turnovers against them, we just battled as hard as we could. I’m not disappointed in the least. I thought we played about as good or hard as we could. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a better team and they are an exceptional team. We battled them, and I just think we did really good tonight.”
Nashville was led in the game by Stanowski who finished with nine points. Kasten added seven points, followed by Ahlers and Heck with six points apiece. Kell and Stern each finished with two points apiece.

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