Chelsea wins 2nd thrilling area game in a row against Calera

Published 12:14 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

CHELSEA – Thanks to a late offensive rebound and put back from Jake Tierney, the Chelsea Hornets were able to move to 2-0 in area play by taking down Calera 45-42 for their second three-point area win in a row.

Carrying confidence over from its three-point win against Pelham, Chelsea started the game with a lot of confidence and it showed.

The Hornets were able to get off to a fast 8-2 run thanks to two free throws and three layups between Daniel Washington and Tierney.

But then Cornelius Brown heated up for Calera.

Brown, who scored the Eagles’ first basket of the game, went on to hit two deep contested jumpers before draining a 3-pointer from the corner to post a 7-0 run by himself which helped give Calera its first lead of the game at 11-8.

Chelsea hit one more basket and Calera one more free throw to end the quarter with the Eagles in front.

Brown opened the scoring in the second period with a layup through contact to keep Calera’s confidence soaring, but eventually the Hornets were able to pull off an answer thanks to Washington.

He hit a layup and made two free throws before KJ Hall hit a 3-pointer to put Chelsea in front 19-15.

Chelsea held the lead for the majority of the frame eventually going up 26-22 late, but thanks to a strong end to the quarter by Duke Chambers, who posted seven points in the final three minutes, Calera was able to pull even for a 26-26 tie at the half.

Coming out of the halftime break, both teams were committed to being more physical defensively after a combined 30 points were scored in the second period.

It led to a physical and chippy third quarter throughout, which kept both teams’ offenses at bay.

Calera got the first few points and started the period on a 5-0 run to gain a 31-26 lead, but once again, the Hornets were there to respond.

Chelsea eventually was able to put together an 8-2 run to storm back in front with a nice 3-pointer from Robert Marquet. The last 1:55 of the quarter went by scoreless as the Hornets took a 34-33 lead into the final period.

The Eagles, however, got hot at the right tie and were able to start the fourth with an impressive showing on both ends of the floor.

Brown started a 6-0 run before Chambers hit two free throws and Brown threw down an emphatic two-hand slam on a breakaway that put the Eagles up 3934.

As had been the case all game, the team trailing was able to battle back.

Chelsea got an and-1 from Washington, one of two free throws from Andrew Messier and another two free throws from Washington to tie the game at 40-40 with 2:15 remaining in the game.

The Eagles regained the lead by hitting one of two free throws with less than two minutes remaining, but that was the last lead they saw.

Washington answered by hitting another layup for his final two points of a 22-point performance that put the Hornets in front for good. Messier followed that by going 1-2 at the line to extend the lead to 43-41 with a minute to play.

Eventually Brown found himself back at the free throw line, but missed the first of two before making the second to leave Calera trailing by a point.

Chelsea got the ball back and didn’t just hold the ball, but got attacked aggressively. After a missed shot, Tierney grabbed an offensive rebound and immediately put it off the glass and in for a 45-42 lead.

The Eagles got one last crack at tying the game, but were forced to take a difficult contested 3-pointer that missed as Chelsea did a great job of preventing Brown from touching the ball.

Behind Washington’s 22 points, Tierney added eight points.

Calera was led by Brown with 19 points, while Chambers added 14 in an impressive outing.