The speed and athleticism of the Belleville East Lancers proved too much for a short-handed Belleville West team to handle on Thursday in a 49-42 win in the third-place high school girls basketball game at the Mascoutah Holiday Basketball Invitational Tournament.
Just four hours removed from a loss to eventual champion Highland, the Lancers (10-7) got a game-high 19 points from sophomore Kaylah Rainey and solid play from junior Brittney Nitz and senior Rachel Collins to defeat a Belleville West squad that was missing two of its top three offensive players in sophomores Chamya Darough (coach’s decision) and B’Aunce Carter (bruised knee).
But with Rainey racing all over the court and Nitz several others stepping up to make big plays, the Lancers gained revenge against their cross town rivals for an earlier loss.
“I’m very proud of my girls because its tough to come back, especially after playing Highland, and play for third place. But we responded well,” East coach Amanda Kemezys said.
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Nitz added 11 points, while junior Jailyn McClenny added 10 for Belleville East. Sydney Thurwalker led West (11-5) with 19 points, while Kaylee Hanger chipped in with 11.
Nashville 39, Althoff 33
Karly Stanowski and Paige Kasten combined for 28 points as the Hornettes capped a productive week in Mascoutah by winning the consolation title in a battle of Class 2A teams.
Althoff (11-7), getting five points from junior Kyleigh Vaught in the third quarter, took a 30-29 lead heading into the final period. But when Paige Kasten and Rachel Kell scored to begin the fourth quarter to give Nashville (11-4) the lead, Hornettes coach Doug Althoff decided to go into the delay game.
Stanowski led Nashville with 16 points, while Kasten added a dozen. Vaught paced Althoff with 11 points.
Breese Central 39, Mascoutah 26
The Breese Central Cougars held Mascoutah to just four points in the first half and rolled to an easy win in the fifth-place game at Mascoutah High School.
Junior Faye Meissner tallied 11 of her game high 14 points for the Cougars who won three of four games this week and are now 8-7 for the season. Erin Brooks led the host Indians with seven points.
Mater Dei 43, Belleville West 38
Mater Dei freshman Shannon Lampe stole the ball from Belleville West junior Sydney Thurwalker and scored on a layup with 31 seconds remaining to give Mater Dei a 43-38 win in the tournament semifinals.
West (10-4), which defeated Mater Dei 41-40 in Breese in early December, led by as many as eight points and had a 28-23 advantage after three quarters.
Kelsey Gerdes, who scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Logan Braundmeier each made two free throws in the final 25 seconds to clinch the win.
Gerdes scored 11 points while Braundmeier added 10 for Mater Dei.
Highland 59, Belleville East 44
Highland (11-3) outscored the Lancers 21-7 in the fourth quarter to avenge a loss earlier this season. The win put the Bulldogs into the championship game for the second year in a row. Highland won last year’s tournament.
Senior Madison Wellen led Highland with 20 points, while Alex LaPorta added 16. Belleville East (10-6) was led by sophomore Kaylah Rainey’s 15 points.
Nashville 54, O’Fallon 51
The Hornettes used a 21-9 surge in the third quarter to break open a close game and send the Panthers home early in the consolation bracket semifinals.
Libby Ahlers led Nashville with 13 points, while O’Fallon senior Marta Durk led the Panthers (9-4) with 16 points. Nashville will play Althoff in the fifth place game.
Althoff 38, Okawville 35
Crusaders senior Kyleigh Vaught made her fourth and final 3-point basket of the game with less than four seconds remaining to give Althoff the win in the other consolation bracket semifinal.
Junior Madison Hackstadt led Okawville (13-3) with 11 points.