Lady Huskies defeat Chelsea to stay unbeaten in area play

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

CHELSEA–The Helena Lady Huskies got a big road victory on Tuesday, Jan. 17, by taking care of Chelsea 61-47 and now sit in the driver’s seat of the Class 6A Area 8 standings.

With the win, Helena is now 2-0 in area play with just two area games remaining as the Lady Huskies used some hot outside shooting to take care of Chelsea.

As a team, Helena made 11 3-pointers and Mary Elizabeth Laatsch, Jordan Jones and Brandis Lang all finished in double-figures in scoring. Laattsch led the Lady Huskies with four 3-pointers.

“We’ve done a lot better job here lately of playing off of each other,” Helena head coach Alan Skinner said. “Jordan and Jen being the threats that they’re scoring in the paint and attacking the rim that really helps collapse defenses. We did that and we hit 11 three’s tonight and it was the best shooting night we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Helena got off to a fast start in the first quarter as six different players scored at least a basket. Jones led the way with seven points in the quarter and Laatsch also added six points.

Helena’s Nereyda Zarate drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap off the impressive first quarter that gave the Lady Huskies a 22-7 lead.

Chelsea did not back down however, as Michaella Edwards scored six points in the second quarter to help cut into Helena’s lead but the Lady Huskies still led by 11 at halftime.

The third quarter saw a lot of whistles and stoppage in play as numerous fouls were called on Helena. Chelsea had plenty of opportunities to score at the free throw line but Helena’s hot outside shooting prevented the Lady Hornets from making it a game.

“It’s tough to play under that kind of a strain because you kind of feel like any little thing that you do is going to lead to points for the other team when the clock is not running,” Skinner said of the third quarter fouls. “But, that’s one of the things you know when you get into basketball. You know what you signed up for.”

Heading into the final quarter with a nine-point lead, Helena maintained momentum and cruised to a 61-47 win.

Jones led Helena with 15 points while Laatsch added 14 and Lang finished with 10 points. Chelsea’s Edwards led all scorers with 22 points in the game.

With the win on Jan. 17, Helena needs either a win over Pelham on Jan. 20 or a win against Chelsea on Jan. 27 to wrap up the area title.