Chelsea rides strong start, Trotter’s 24 points to beat Helena and stay perfect

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HELENA – For the eleventh straight time, the Chelsea Hornets earned a victory, and for the second straight time, it was over a county opponent.

The Hornets took advantage of a strong first quarter to defeat the Helena Huskies 43-26 on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Helena High School and stay undefeated.

Haley Trotter continued her excellent start to the season with a phenomenal first quarter that nearly single-handedly carried Chelsea to a double-digit lead.

Trotter scored 13 of the Hornets’ 15 first-quarter points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field to lead her team’s offense.

On the other end of the court, Chelsea’s defense held Helena scoreless for much of the opening quarter, but a late Amari Grant basket cut the lead to 15-2 going into the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter brought a much tighter eight minutes of play thanks to three-pointers from Mardel Orozca and Mallory Rhodes for the Huskies, while Caroline Brown scored five points for the Hornets.

In the end, Chelsea won the quarter 10-8 to extend its lead before halftime and took a 25-10 lead into the break.

The Hornets’ deep shooting kicked into high gear in the third quarter as Trotter hit a pair of three-pointers and Brown added another.

The trio of Trotter, Brown and Sadie Schwallie continued to dictate the tone on offense and help Chelsea grow its lead to 41-16.

The Huskies cut the Hornets’ lead in the fourth quarter and continued to show fight, but the gap was too wide to close and Chelsea kept its perfect season alive with the 17-point win.

Trotter led all scorers with 24 points, while Brown scored 12 and Schwallie had seven.

For Helena, Orozca and Grant had seven points each to lead their team, and Isabel Heintz scored six points.