Chelsea overcomes early deficit, downs Homewood

Published 11:47 am Friday, January 4, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

HOMEWOOD – The Chelsea girls basketball team continues showing signs of improvement under first-year head coach Jason Harlow and got a redemption win against 6A opponent Homewood on Thursday, Jan. 3.

After losing to the Patriots by a final score of 45-39 back on Dec. 6, the Hornets were able to bounce back from a 10-point deficit in the first quarter to pick up a big road win by a final score of 41-34 to redeem the earlier loss.

The start, however, was not the one Chelsea wanted.

In the opening quarter, the Hornets (6-10) were only able to squeak out a slim four points, all of which came from Sydney Schwallie thanks to a free throw and a 3-pointer.

Homewood on the other hand came out of the gates flying with their best offensive quarter, not a good combination for Chelsea having played its worst quarter of the game.

The Patriots were able to post 14 points behind four different scorers, and could have had more had it not been for a 50-percent mark at the free throw line in the quarter making just three of their four from the stripe.

With Homewood clearly looking more energized and ready to go, a reality check was in order for the Hornets, but the group of players came together and decided to not let that first quarter define the game.

Chelsea was able to somehow find a rhythm offensively behind Pressley Rains, Jordan Parker and Mackenzie Titus, all of whom had at least five points in the period, including an emphatic and-1 from Rains and a 3-pointer from Parker that both got the team more motivated.

That also sparked a strong effort on the defensive end of the floor.

After seeing some struggles at the line in the opening period, the Hornets played aggressive defensively in the second quarter and made Homewood earn everything at the free throw line with just one made basket from the floor.

The Patriots continued to struggle from the line in the frame and made just two of their six shots from the stripe for just five points in the quarter.

With the shift in momentum, the Hornets were all of a sudden able to completely flip the switch and take a 20-19 lead in to the half.

With that gained confidence, specifically on the defensive end of the floor, Chelsea was able to come out in the second half and limit the Patriots to single digits in both quarters of play.

The third period was tightly contested, but balance by the Hornets seemed to be the difference. They had four different players score in the quarter, including four more points from Parker, which led to a total of 10.

Homewood saw just two players score in the quarter, but thanks to seven points from Zoe Watts, the Patriots were able to stay within striking distance down by just two points, 30-28, heading to the final frame.

While the Patriots finally found a rhythm at the free throw line in the final quarter, they only got four attempts making four of them, and hit just one 3-pointer from the field for six points in the final frame.

Playing from behind, that six points wasn’t going to be enough despite the Hornets shooting just 1-3 from the free throw line.

Thanks to four more points from Parker and seven combined from Rains, Schwallie, Ellen Fleming and Titus, Chelsea was able to close the final quarter out with 11 more points to pull away for the 41-34 win.

Chelsea was led by Parker with 13 points, while Schwallie added 10 points and Rains poured in nine points. In all, the Hornets had five different players score, and thanks to seven from Titus, they saw four of those five post seven points or more.