CARBONDALE — After a close first quarter, the Nashville girls basketball team dominated the rest of the way and picked up a 51-20 victory over Carbondale on Wednesday night.
The Hornettes (12-4) held the Terriers scoreless during a 10-minute stretch in the first half. Nashville scored 12 straight points during that time to take a double-digit lead.
“I think we executed very well on offense, and even though we came out a little slow on defense, we picked up the intensity and started guarding a little harder,” said Nashville coach Doug Althoff. “I can’t complain. I thought we played real well tonight.”
Brianna Simelton scored in the paint to give Carbondale a 7-6 lead at the 3:45 mark of the opening quarter. Everything changed from that point on.
The Hornettes scored the final five points of the first period and turned it up a notch on defense in the second quarter. Libby Ahlers scored nine of her game-high 20 points in the second quarter, which saw Nashville take an 11-point advantage.
“Libby came to play tonight; she was ready to go,” Althoff said. “I think she got real comfortable after the first couple drives where she scored. She really was looking to go to the hole tonight, and she’s been doing that here lately. Hopefully, she keeps it up. The biggest thing about her is she’s starting to pick her spots better.”
After a couple buckets from Ahlers, Maddie Doan ended Carbondale’s long scoring drought with a basket at the 1:16 mark of the second quarter. The Hornettes led just 18-9 at that point.
But the Terriers would not score again until Torrey Taylor hit a shot with 53 seconds left in the third quarter.
“It was embarrassing,” said Carbondale coach Marialice Jenkins. “It’s not like we were surprised at anything Nashville was going to do. We’ve seen them and played them over the years, and they play the same style. We just stood around half the night. I don’t know where that came from because that’s not what we practice. We’ve got to get back to practice and try to fix a lot of things. We just didn’t play hard, and that’s on me.”
Paige Kasten, Karly Stanowski and Ahlers each scored baskets to finish off a 15-0 run for Nashville in the third period. The Nashville lead ballooned to 28 points.
“We got to the spots and kind of had an idea of what they were trying to do,” Althoff said. “The main thing is to try and get them where they don’t want to go. It is just playing hard nosed defense. The big thing is to give them one shot, check and go get the rebound.”
Stanowski added 16 points for Nashville. Doan paced Carbondale (7-7) with seven points.
“Give credit to Nashville for what they were able to do,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to find five people who are ready to play when we get back to the conference games.”