Chelsea girls down Homewood to win area championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Hornets closed out a perfect season of area play on Friday, Feb. 12, when they put together one final dominant effort in a 50-36 win against the Homewood Patriots to claim the area tournament championship.

With the win, the Hornets not only won the title but won all eight area games between the regular season and the area tournament, winning by a combined 137 points.

Their closest game of the season in area play was eight points against Mountain Brook, but every other game was won by double digits.

Similar to most games this season, Chelsea used its defense to wear down the Patriots early in the game, which allowed the offense to flourish, before the defense finished strong in the final quarter.

Chelsea was able to jump out to a 12-6 lead through the first 5:30 of the game, playing well on both ends of the floor to grab the early confidence they needed.

Ellen Fleming

Sophia Brown and Ellen Fleming, who were the top scorers in the game, were a big reason for that successful start.

Brown opened the game with a seven-point quarter thanks to making three of four free throws and two field goals, while Fleming knocked down a 3-pointer and an additional jumper for five points.

Those two scored 12 of the 19 for the Hornets in the quarter as Sydney Schwallie and Mary Cartee both drained 3-pointers as well.

But the defense continued to do what it has done all season by allowing just seven points in the quarter, which helped Chelsea open up a 12-point lead at the end of one.

In the second quarter, however, the teams flipped positions.

Homewood came out and knocked down three 3-pointers in the second quarter and got five additional points from Caidyn Cannon to score 16 points in the period.

The defense of the Patriots also improved, allowing nine points, which brought them back to within five points going into the halftime break.

That uncharacteristic quarter defensively from the Hornets was all the driving force they needed in the second half.

After talking it over during the break, Chelsea came out and allowed a combined 13 points in the second half

The Hornets matched their first-quarter performance in the third by allowing seven points.

On the offensive end, Chelsea got a big 3-pointer from Sydney Schwallie as well as four more from Fleming in the frame to help total 11 points and extend the lead to 39-30 going to the final quarter.

With the defense in lockdown mode, the offense finished the game off with 11 more points in the fourth thanks to six from Fleming to close out the 50-36 win.

Chelsea was led by 16 points from Brown, 11 of which came in the first half, while Fleming added seven points.

Pelham will host Jasper on Monday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the sub-regional round of the playoffs looking to punch a ticket to the Sweet 16 on Thursday.