Girls Basketball

Mater Dei, Highland, Belleville East advance at Mascoutah Girls Holiday Invitational Tournament

Mater Dei Senior Kelsey Gerdes hit a layup with 1:20 remaining, helping the Knights cap a fourth quarter comeback and a 49-44 win over the Okawville Rockets in the Mascoutah Holiday Invitational Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday.

Mater Dei (8-4) used full court pressure to overcome a 10 point deficit at the start of the quarter and avenged a loss 35-18 two weeks ago to Okawville (13-2).

Okawville committed 11 turnovers — most against the press — in the fourth quarter, which ended with four Logan Braundmeier free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the win and move Mater Dei into a 1 p.m. semifinal Thursday against Belleville West.

“We had players in the game that like to and can play good defense,” Knights coach David Kohnen said. “We talked about some of the things we needed to do in order to get to where we want to be at the end of the season and playing better defense was one them.”

Braundmeier led Mater Dei with 13 points while Shannon Lampe (12 points) and Kierra Winkeler (10) were also in double figures.

Okawville was led by Madison Hackstadt’s 22 points.

“All the time we spend on practice working on breaking the press and we just collapsed against it today,” a Rockets coach Michelle Hasheider-Burianek said. “Nobody wanted the basketball when they (Mater Dei) put the press on and that’s disappointing. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Highland 57, O’Fallon 39

Senior guard Madison Wellen scored 16 of her 24 points in the first half and the defending champion Highland Bulldogs broke open a close game with a 14-2 scoring spurt midway through the second quarter in a 57-39 quarterfinal round win over the O’Fallon Panthers.

Highland (10-3) led just 17-12 after one quarter, but with Wellen, a 5-9 guard and 6-foot senior forward Alex LaPorta combining to scored 13 of the Highland’s 15 points in the second quarter, the Bulldogs lead was 32-18 at halftime.

LaPorta chipped in with 15 points and 13 rebounds for Highland, which will take on Belleville East in the first of two semifinals beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.

O’Fallon (9-3), which was led by Jayla Stubblefield (9 points) and Marta Durk with eight points, will take on Nashville in a fifth place semifinal at 8:30 a.m.

Belleville East 59, Nashville 44

With her speed and athletic ability, Belleville East sophomore Kaylah Rainey proved to be a thorn in the side of the Nashville Hornettes as she scored 13 points and added four steals to lead the way for Belleville East which advanced with a 15-point win.

A 5-7 guard, Rainey helped set the tone early by scoring seven points and adding three steals — two of which led to layups by the Lancers — in the first quarter as the Lancers (10-5) took a 15-6 lead. Nashville, which got a combined 29 points from junior Karly Stanowski amd senior Janie Holle, got to within one point on three occasions in the second quarter, but never took the lead.

Belleville East sophomore Kaylah Rainey had 13 points and four steals and Brittney Nitz added 14 points in the Lancers 59-44 win over Nashville.

The Hornettes got a combined 29 points from junior Karly Stanowski and senior Janie Holle, who helped Nashville pull to within one point on three separate occassions in the second quarter but could never get the lead.

Bryce Dowell and Jaila Parker then hit 3 point baskets early in the second half as East broke the game open.

Holle led Nashville (8-4) with 14 points.

Central 48, Centralia 34

Carson Newkirk scored 12 points while Clarece Jansen and Allison Fehrmann added 10 points each as the Cougars (7-7) moved into the consolation ttile game with a win over the Annies.

Mascoutah 45, Cahokia 40 (OT)

Senior Daisia Davis made a 3-point jumper early in overtime as Mascoutah got past Cahokia. Davis and Danee Strong scored 12 points each for the Indians while Cahokia got 12 points from senior Katelyn Clark.