Chelsea boys improve to 2-2 in area play

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – Thanks to a fast start on the defensive end of the floor, the Chelsea Hornets were able to pick up their second area victory of the 2019-20 basketball season behind a 47-39 win at Pelham High School.

The Hornets (11-13, 2-2) outscored the Panthers (10-13, 0-4) 10-3 in the opening quarter of the game, and that period ended up making the difference in the long run as the final three quarters were extremely even.

Chelsea came out in the first quarter and got those 10 points from three different scorers. Andrew Messier and Caleb Moore each had four points in the period, while Jordan Thomas added a field goal as well to complete the scoring.

Defensively, the Hornets did a good job of holding both Blake Floyd and Kendan Maddox in check, as Xavier Lankford scored all three of the Panthers’ points in the frame.

Pelham, however, came out with a much more spirited effort in the second quarter. Despite just seven players on the roster right now due to injuries racking up this year for the Panthers, they still got an extremely balanced effort in the second quarter.

Five different players scored, including four from Floyd, to help Pelham gain some momentum. Chelsea’s offense, however, kept the Panthers from erasing the deficit entirely with a 12-point quarter.

The Hornets got four points apiece from Messier and Thomas to help them hold a 22-17 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Pelham continued chipping away at the lead with 12 more points thanks to five from Floyd as well as seven combined from Lankford, Nate Rottier and Roy Gonzalez.

While Pelham was able to come back and tie the game at one point in the period, Chelsea got two crucial 3-pointers from Jacob Tierney in the quarter, which played a major role in the Hornets scoring 11 points and taking a 33-29 lead into the final frame.

That’s when the game turned into a free throw shooting contest, as the two teams combined to shoot 22 free throws in the fourth. A total of 16 of those free throws came from Chelsea, as the Panthers put them on the line looking to extend the game.

The Hornets capitalized and made 11 of those 16 free throws, which helped them post 14 points, while Pelham couldn’t find enough offense to overcome that efficiency at the line in a 10-point quarter.

Moore and Bryant Royster shot particularly well from the free throw line in the final quarter with Royster going 5-6 from the line and Moore 3-4.

Moore led the Hornets with 14 points, while Messier added 11 points in the victory.

Pelham was led by Lankford with 12 points, while Floyd was just behind with 11.