Chelsea starts season with road win at Minor

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – The Chelsea Hornets faced some adversity in their opening basketball game to the 2020-2021 season, but thanks to a consistent offensive effort throughout and strong defensive play in the second half, they opened the season with a 46-37 road win against Minor.

Riley Edmiston and Warner Jones were key in the win offensively, scoring 15 and 9, respectively, while the Hornets held Minor to seven points or less in three of the four quarters.

But Edmiston’s ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc was key, and it helped Chelsea build an early lead. He hit two big 3-pointers in the first quarter, which made up six of the team’s 10 points in the period.

With the Hornets coming out strong on the defensive end of the floor, that allowed them to build a 10-4 advantage at the end of the opening period.

In the second quarter, however, the game became much more fast paced, which didn’t benefit Chelsea.

Despite scoring 12 points in the frame, the defense gave up 22 points. Jaylin Dorsey-Johnson posted nine for the Tigers in the period, while Darrien Jackson and Dresean Knight both had six points in the quarter to help the Tigers storm in front for a 26-22 lead at the break.

It seemed as if the Hornets had lost the momentum of the game, but at the half, head coach Nick Baumbaugh got his team refocused on the defensive end of the floor.

That paid off in the third quarter.

Strong play on that end of the floor and a hot start from Jones, who posted five of his nine points in the early portion of the quarter, led to a 9-0 run for the Hornets to reclaim the lead at 31-26.

Chelsea went on to score 13 points in the period and gave up just one field goal and four total points defensively to take a 35-30 lead into the fourth quarter.

Still not in the clear against a dangerous Minor offense, the Hornets continued to play strong defensively in the final period.

That as well as Paul Lanzi’s free throw shooting became key. The Hornets struggled for the most part at the line during the game, but Lanzi went 4-4 to help ice the game. He finished the night with seven points going 5-6 from the free throw line.

Chelsea outscored Minor 10-7 in the final quarter to complete the nine-point win.

Edmiston knocked down four 3-pointers in the win, while eight different players scored.

Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.