O’Fallon senior Jayla Stubblefield met coach Nick Knolhoff’s challenge, and the Panthers kept up their winning ways Saturday at the 32nd annual Highland Scott Credit Union Girls Basketball Tournament.
Stubblefield held high-scoring Hillsboro junior Sammi Matoush to just nine points, and senior Sydney Thurwalker led a balanced attack with 16 points as O’Fallon rolled to a 61-28 first-round win before a sparse crowd at Highland High School.
One of the top offensive players in the tournament, Matoush entered the game averaging 21 points per game. But Stubblefield held the 5-foot-10 guard to just three free throws in the first half as the Panthers (16-2) took control for good.
“We knew coming in that she (Matoush) was their leading scorer and averaging about 20 points. Jayla (Stubblefield) is our best defender, and we put on her and told her to make it personal,” Knolhoff said. “Then with Sydney (Thurwalker) having another good game and our guards moving down into the post and doing another solid job, it was a very good team effort.”
Sophomore Makayla Best added nine points for O’Fallon, which will take on Mater Dei in a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Civic Memorial 62, Wesclin 16
Senior Kaylee Eaton scored 22 points as the top-seeded Eagles rolled past the overmatched Warriors.
Ranked fourth in the Class 3A state poll, Civic Memorial will take a 19-1 mark into a Monday quarterfinal game against Nashville.
Jenna Haselhorst led Wesclin (6-16) with nine points.
Nashville 42, Salem 29
The eighth-seeded Hornettes survived a scare from the Wildcats in the most competitive first-round game. Karly Stanowski led Nashville (13-6) with 23 points.
Central 47, Triad 15
Fresh off an upset win over Teutopolis a week ago, the Cougars (16-2) clamped down against the Knights in an easy first-round win.
Clarece Jansen led the Cougars with 14 points, and Faye Meissner added 13. Jordan Wilson led Triad (7-10) with eight points.
Mater Dei 57, Taylorville 54
Senior Myah Beckmann made two free throws with 53 seconds remaining to give the Knights the lead for good as they got past the upset-minded Tornadoes.
Kierra Winkeler scored 14 of her 21 points in the second half for the surging Knights (16-5), who will take a seven-game winning streak into a quarterfinal game against O’Fallon at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Beckmann added 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, for Mater Dei.
Teutopolis 59, Belleville West 47
Senior Jolene Bueker scored 23 points, and Sadie Bueker added 14 as the Wooden Shoes defeated Belleville West in a first-round game. West (3-14) trailed just 26-20 at halftime, but Teutopolis (20-2) broke the game open in the second half.
Sophomore Shaniah Nunn led West with 14 points. Brittany Walker added 11.
Highland 66, Althoff 46
Ellie Brown scored 19 points as the host Bulldogs (13-6) broke away late for a 66-46 win over the improving Crusaders.
Tiffany Siekmann led Althoff (11-12) with 13 points.