Chelsea hands Pelham first loss with another impressive defensive outing

Published 4:28 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Chelsea girls basketball team continued to showcase one of the best defenses in the state on Thursday night, Dec. 16 in a win against county rival Pelham.

The Hornets limited the Panthers to seven combined points in the second half to overcome a four-point halftime deficit and pick up a 41-26 victory.

Chelsea outscored Pelham 26-7 in the second half to pull off the comeback, as both sides of the ball found a rhythm.

In the opening half, however, it was a defensive battle between the top-10 teams that

Chelsea grabbed the early lead in the opening quarter thanks in large part to a 5-6 mark from the free throw line. That, along with field goals from Lexi Redd and Ashley Washington, helped play a part in the Hornets scoring nine points.

They also did their part on the other end of the floor, giving up three field goals, two of which were to Karma Wynn, to limit the Panthers to six points.

Pelham, however, found a way to start battling through contested shots in the second quarter.

The Panthers got six points from Savannah Scarbrough and one field goal each from Wynn and Jaslyn Heflin to total 13 points. The Panthers did miss four free throws, however, which prevented an even better quarter.

After four players scored for Chelsea in the opening quarter, the Hornets were limited to two scorers and six points in the second quarter, which allowed Pelham to overtake the lead at 19-15 going into the halftime break.

Coming out of the half, the Hornets got back to their bread and butter—strong defense.

They settled on the theme of making Pelham earn everything, and it paid off, as the defense not only limited the Panthers to four points in the third quarter, but the offense turned it into 15 points on the offensive end.

Washington hit two 3-pointers, while Sydney Schwallie hit one and Lexi Redd had five points.

That put Chelsea in front 30-23 going to the final quarter of play.

And with the shift in momentum, the Hornets continued to trust their defense, which put together an even better quarter in the final period.

They gave up three points to Pelham in the fourth quarter, while the offense closed out the win with an 8-11 mark at the free throw line.

Chelsea was led by Redd and Schwallie with 12 points, while Washington finished just behind with 10 points.

Pelham was led by Laci Gogan with 10 points. She scored six of the team’s seven points in the second half.