CARTERVILLE — The Nashville girls basketball team isn’t built to come from behind, especially from large deficits.
But the Hornettes pulled off that feat in impressive fashion on Tuesday night in a key SIRR Mississippi Division contest at Carterville.
Trailing by 19 points with 3:30 left in the third quarter, Nashville stormed back for a 45-40 victory.
“Karly (Stanowski) was the only one scoring, and you’re not going to win many games with one person scoring,” said Nashville coach Doug Althoff. “I wasn’t upset that we were missing shots. The only thing that upset me is we just weren’t playing hard. I told them they were just going to have to pick their game up.”
The Hornettes did just that. Stanowski had scored all of Nashville’s points when it trailed 34-15 with 3:30 left in the third period. But Paige Kasten hit a pair of 3-pointers soon after that, and Nashville (8-2, 3-0) dominated the rest of the way.
“I just wanted them to cut it in half,” Althoff said. “I thought we could cut it in half again in the fourth quarter, and maybe we’d have a chance to win the game. That’s kind of the way it worked out.”
After a basket from Jeniah Thompson, Carterville still led by 15 points with two minutes left in the third quarter. But Stanowski made a basket to start a 9-2 run for the Hornettes to end the quarter.
Hanna Schulmeister, who led Carterville with 15 points, made a bucket to open the fourth quarter, which gave the Lions a 40-30 advantage with 7:35 to play.
The Lions (8-3, 2-1) did not score again.
Rachael Kell knocked down a jump shot, and Sabrina Kollbaum buried a triple to slice Nashville’s deficit to just five points with 4:55 left in the game.
“We lost Kasten, and she got hot, and they got all the momentum from us,” said Carterville coach Matt Crain. “That was the ball game. For about 23 minutes, we played good basketball. We quit rebounding and kind of waited for the time to tick off, and it doesn’t work that way.”
Kasten scored all 13 of her points in the final 11 minutes of the game. Nashville finished the contest on a 15-0 run.
“We’re still young, and we will learn from this,” Crain said. “We got up and we relaxed. We actually did that against Carbondale in the fourth quarter, too. That’s something we’ll have to work on. You have to tip your hat to Nashville. They didn’t give up. Now, we have to scratch and claw and hopefully get a chance to beat them at their place and possibly tie for the conference.”
Thompson added 11 points for Carterville, and Megan Barton tallied nine. Stanowski led all scorers with 19 points for the Hornettes.
“At halftime, I said it looks to me like you’re all a little scared or intimidated,” Althoff said. “That’s kind of the way it happens sometimes when you get in a big game like this one. But I said you have to turn that around. They just started playing with more confidence, and it definitely showed in the second half.”