HIGHLAND — Following coach Clayton Fisher's formula for success, the Belleville West Maroons forced 23 turnovers in a 54-43 win over the Carlyle Indians on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the Scott Credit Union Highland Tournament.
"We have to guard people and force turnovers, and we did it tonight," Fisher said.
Shay Fluker led the Maroons with 22 points. They also got 10 points from Imani Berry and nine points from Jesheon Cooper.
Paige Rakers paced the Indians for 20 points, but the Belleville News-Democrat's reigning Class 1A-2A Player of the Year had to work for everything she got.
Sophomore Jasmine Berry guarded Rakers most of the game.
"If you don't guard her correctly, bad things will happen, and I thought we did a tremendous job," Fisher said. "I don't know how many points she had, but I'll still take the job we did on her. I thought we did a great job on her."
Fisher said the Maroons thought about playing a gimmick defense on Rakers.
"We looked at box-and-one, and we didn't have to go to it," Fisher said. "We left Jesheon in the middle, a 6-5 eraser. Paige was the only one who get anything going to the goal. We knew she was the player we obviously had to stop."
The Maroons (14-5) advance to play the undefeated Nashville Hornettes (21-0) at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinal round of the tourney.
"Unfortunately, we play Nashville, which is the antithesis of us and gives us fits because they are skilled enough to hold the ball on us," said Fisher, whose team lost 37-29 to the Hornettes at the Mascoutah Tournament. "And, they'll do it. (Nashville coach) Wayne (Harre) would like a 10-6 final."
The Indians (17-4) drop into the fifth-place bracket, where they'll meet the Hillsboro Hiltoppers at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Fluker scored 13 of her points in the first quarter in helping the Maroons open up a 17-11 lead by early in the second quarter.
The Indians tied the score at 17-17 on a layup by Brianna Smith.
The Maroons held a 21-19 lead at halftime and a 33-31 edge at the end of the third quarter, but they scored nine straight points at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 42-31 lead.
Cooper had two baskets in leading the charge.
The Indians were never closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Fluker and Alliyah St. John each went 3-for-4 at the free-throw line in the final 1:06 to help the Maroons clinch the win.
The Indians also got nine points from Jessie Beckmann.
Nashville 46, Hillsboro 15
Shaye Harre scored 16 points, Jordi Harre added 14 points and Erica Brown threw a defensive blanket over high-scoring Hillsboro guard Shelby Gray.
The 6-foot Brown drew the defensive assignment on Gray, who scored 27 points in the Hiltoppers' win over Cowden-Herrick on Saturday.
The 5-foot-6 Gray went scoreless against the Hornettes.
Brown, a senior known for her great defense, has the quickness to effectively guard smaller players.
"It makes it tough on people who are not as tall as her to get shots off," Nashville coach Wayne Harre said. "It gives us an advantage in that we can put her on different people. She's been like since she's been a freshman. We expect that out of her. She knows that's what she needs to do. That's her job really."
Jordi Harre hit four 3-pointers in the game, including two in the first quarter in helping the Hornettes out to a 10-6 lead.
The Hornettes led 20-10 at halftime. They scored 12 unanswered points, including 3-pointers from Hannah Yung and Jordi Harre, to start the second half.
They ended up putting together a 26-2 rally in building up a 46-12 cushion.
Salem 54, Althoff 42
A bad second quarter doomed the Althoff Crusaders to an early exit from the tourney.
The Crusaders were outscored 12-2 in the second quarter, falling behind 26-13. They could never make up the lost ground.
The Crusaders couldn't get a shot to fall in the second quarter until Rachel Kaltwasser hit a baseline shot with 29 seconds left in the period.
The closest the Crusaders got in the second half was six points after a basket by Kaltwasser with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.
Kymber Hill led the Crusaders (7-9) with 12 points, while Kaltwasser added 11 points and Alanna Bramwell had eight points.
"I hate to sound cliche', but if you can't put it the hoop ... we've struggled with that this year," Althoff coach Todd Hill said. "Other than Kymber -- we know we can go to Kymber and get a bucket -- but even Kymber missed some easy ones today that she normally makes.
"Right now, we're trying to find that other person to score for us consistently. That's a painful thing right now. Until we find that person, you have games like this where you are right there and can't get over the hump and you fall short."
The Wildcats showcased their deep bench by having seven players score five or more points.
Annie Tucker led the way with 11 points, followed by Shelby Holst with 10 points, including 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
The Wildcats (11-10) will play Cowden-Herrick (13-5) at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinal round of the consolation bracket.
Cowden-Herrick 57, Triad 13
Senior center Micah Jones scored 23 points as the Cowden-Herrick Hornets cruised past the Triad Knight (0-19).
The Hornets led 15-2 at the end of the first quarter and built up a 29-7 advantage by halftime.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.