Chelsea takes down Clay-Chalkville

Published 10:13 am Friday, December 14, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

PINSON – There have been some struggles along the way for the Chelsea Hornets early in the 2018-19 basketball season thanks in large part to a difficult schedule and some close losses, but on Thursday, Dec. 13, they were able to close a game out and gain some confidence with a 56-54 road win against Clay-Chalkville.

Early in the game, however, it didn’t look promising for Chelsea (4-9) after Clay-Chalkville started strong offensively.

The Cougars were able to put up 18 first-quarter points, while also playing pretty good defense to limit the Hornets to just 11 points in the opening period.

It put Chelsea behind the eight ball early on with an 18-11 deficit, but the Hornets, normally a defensively sound team, were able to pick up their effort on that end of the floor in the second period.

Chelsea limited Clay-Chalkville to just seven points in the second quarter, while scoring one more point on the other end to cut the Cougars’ lead to two points, 25-23, heading into the halftime break.

During the halftime break, Chelsea was able to make some adjustments offensively, knowing that if the defense continued to play as strong as it had, that the offense would have a chance to give the Hornets the lead.

And that’s exactly what happened.

It started in the third quarter with their best offensive period of the game scoring 17 points while limiting the Cougars to 14, which gave Chelsea a slim 40-39 lead at the end of the third quarter.

While Clay-Chalkville was starting to heat up offensively, so were the Hornets.

They gave up 15 points in the final period, the second most by the Cougars in any quarter, but Chelsea continued its strong play on the offensive end as well, and thanks to several free throws at the end, they were able to post 16 more points for a total of 33 second-half points.

That improved offensive pressure led to the Hornets pulling off the 56-54 victory.

A big reason was Matthew Lanzi’s 6-7 mark at the free throw line in the final quarter, which accounted for six of his team-high 17 points. Daniel Washington also continued an impressive season with 15 points in the post.