HIGHLAND — The Belleville West Maroons continued to use a simple, but effective recipe for some tasty success Saturday at the Scott Credit Union Highland Girls Basketball Tournament.
Sophomore Shay Fluker scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, while sisters Imani and Jasmine Berry combined for 22 points as the Maroons rolled past Althoff 48-31 in a first-round game.
Althoff (7-8), getting seven points from senior Mary Cardenas, led 13-11 after one quarter and trailed 24-19 at halftime, before West (13-5) took command early in the third period.
A pair of 3-point jumpers by Jasmine Berry, along with seven points by the lightning-quick Fluker, keyed an 11-2 Maroons' scoring run.
"It's no secret what we do. We try to play hard every game and we're pretty good defensively. But offensively we struggle at times. That's been what we've done all year long,'' West coach Clayton Fisher said. "The third quarter we came out and hit some shots. Jasmine (Berry) hit a couple of 3s and we got on a nice little run there.''
The win moves West into a quarterfinal game at 8:30 p.m. Monday, where it will take on Carlyle.
Ranked 11th in the Class 2A state poll, the Lady Indians defeated Salem 51-36 in their first-round game.
Getting a combined 12 points from Cardenas and senior center Kymber Hill, Althoff played well in the first half.
But the intense pressure defense of the Maroons took its toll on the Crusaders, who tallied only 12 points in the final two quarters.
"I thought Mary (Cardenas) gave us a lift in the first half and we did a better job against their pressure," Crusaders coach Todd Hill said, "but we just can't find someone else besides (Kymber) Hill to step up on a consistent basis on offense.''
Hill led Althoff with 12 points. Imani Berry had 12 points for West, while Jasmine Berry added 10.
Carlyle 51, Salem 36
Perhaps still feeling the effects of an emotional loss to Nashville, the fourth-seeded Lady Indians were a little sloppy early but still managed a 15-point win over the Lady Wildcats.
"That's all we talked about before the game was that we needed to put the (Nashville) game behind us and that we might get to see them again,'' Nashville coach Randy Voss said. "We just have to take it one step at a time. But yes, I think we did have a little bit of an emotional hangover.
"We had such a good effort the other night. That's tough to recapture.''
All-State selection Paige Rakers scored 27 points while Sedreyana Harris added 10 for Carlyle (17-3).
Okawville 44, Highland 41
Megan Wienstroer and Jolyn Lake combined to score 29 points and the Lady Rockets used a huge advantage from the free-throw line to hold off Highland in a physical game.
Wienstroer scored 16 points and Lake added 13 for Okawville (15-5), which made 19 of its 35 free throws, while Highland was just 3-of-5.
"I didn't realize we shot so many more free throws than they (Highland) shot," said Okawville coach Michelle Burianek. "I think it helped that we played primarily zone (defense) or I'm sure we would have fouled more than we did.
"We missed free throws at the end, which is something we don't normally do. But I thought my girls held their poise well down the stretch.
Olivia LaPorta paced Highland with 12 points.
Nashville 56, Triad 19
The top-seeded Hornettes took no chances as they jumped out to a 42-6 halftime lead.
Seniors Erica Brown (14 points) and Shaye Harre (13 points) paced Nashville (20-0), while Shawn Rennegarbe added 12.
Nashville is ranked second in the Class 2A state poll.
Freshman Sophia Thompson had six points for Triad.
Central 62, Vandalia 22
Ranked third in Class 2A, the Cougars made life miserable for the Vandals with a 33-0 scoring run that encompassed most of the first half.
Tied at 2 with just over a minute into the game, Central (19-2) scored the next 33 points to take a 35-2 lead late in the second quarter.
Freshman Kendra Wilken led the third-seeded Cougars with 14 points, while Maddie Timmermann added 12 and senior April Gebke chipped in 10.
Mater Dei 55, Nokomis 24
Ranked eighth in the Class 3A state poll, the Knights started quick and didn't let up.
Emily Koelling scored 19 points while Jamie Voss added nine for the Knights (18-1), who will take on Teutopolis in a quarterfinal at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Teutopolis 46, O'Fallon 25
Playing without leading scorer and spark-plug guard Jasmine Bonds, O'Fallon (5-11) gave the Wooden Shoes all they wanted for 3 1/2 quarters before running out of gas late.
Bonds suffered a concussion in O'Fallon's loss to East St. Louis earlier in the week.
Madeline Hartke scored 16 points for the Wooden Shoes (17-4). Ciara Jones had seven points for O'Fallon.
Hillsboro 55, Cowden-Herrick 53
Lady Hilltoppers senior Shelby Gray scored the final two of her 27 points on a 10-foot jumper with just over a minute remaining as Hillsboro posted the first tournament's first upset.
Ranked seventh in Class 1A, Cowden-Herrick rallied from an eight-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 51 on a basket by all-stater Micah Jones with a minute and 14 seconds left.
But Gray, a 5-foot, 6-inch guard, nailed her game-winning jumper from the left baseline.
Jones, an SIU-Edwardsville recruit, scored 29 points for Cowden-Herrick.
Reporter Dean Criddle can be reached at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org