Chelsea girls headed back to sub-regionals

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – A strong defensive performance and great free throw shooting lifted the Chelsea Hornets to their sixth straight win on Tuesday, Feb. 4, but more importantly, they were able to lock up a spot in the sub-regional round of the postseason, which will take place after the area tournament championship game.

Taking on the Calera Eagles, the Hornets were able to hold the visitors to eight points or less in the first three quarters of the game, while knocking down 11 of their 12 free throws after the first quarter to help separate themselves in a 57-35 victory.

With the win, Chelsea improved to 24-5 overall and has now won 11 of its last 12 games.

While the offense wasn’t the most dynamic it has been this season, the defense was outstanding for the Hornets throughout the night and it started in the opening quarter of play.

While they posted 13 points on the offensive end, the defense limited Calera to just seven points in the first quarter, which allowed Chelsea to take an early six-point advantage.

That already was going to be a tough lead to chip away at just judging from the Hornets’ strong effort on the defensive end of the floor.

And it didn’t help that Jordan Parker found her stroke in the second quarter for Chelsea.

After going scoreless in the opening period, Parker bounced back to post seven points in the second quarter, which kick started a 26-point night for the senior, who went on to score at least seven points in the final three quarters of the game.

Her presence in the second quarter helped Chelsea post 12 more points, while the defense only allowed six points. That led to the Hornets extending their lead to 25-13 heading into the half.

The break, however, didn’t slow Parker down. While she didn’t get much help on offense in the third quarter, it wasn’t really needed as she and her teammates held Calera to just eight points, while she put up 11 on the offensive end by herself.

With the dominant effort on both ends of the floor, Chelsea had taken a 17-point lead going to the fourth.

In the final period, Calera tried to mount a comeback by draining four 3-pointers, but the Hornets got eight more from Parker and posted their best overall quarter of the game with 19 points to cement the dominant 22-point victory.

After starting the game 2-for-5 from the free throw line in the first quarter, Chelsea went on to make 11 of its final 13 shots from the stripe to help create a cushion.

Outside of Parker’s 26 points, Pressley Rains added 10 points for the Hornets.