Helena takes county battle with Chelsea to improve to 9-1

Published 3:38 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HELENA – The Helena Huskies used a solid second quarter to outpace the Chelsea Hornets and claim a 52-43 win at home on Tuesday, Dec. 5 in a county battle.

After a tight opening stretch, the Huskies outscored the Hornets by 10 in the second quarter and held off a spirited rally from Chelsea with a 22-for-37 performance from the free throw line.

The teams were fairly even to begin the first quarter, but nine points from Josh Williams and four from Drew Davis helped Helena take the early lead.

However, Jordan Garcia hit two of Chelsea’s three first quarter three-pointers, and the Hornets were within striking distance at the end of the quarter down just 15-11.

Williams and Davis took over in the second quarter, scoring 10 of Helena’s 14 first quarter points while the Huskies defense held the visitors to just four more points before halftime.

That helped Helena build out a double-digit lead and take a 29-15 lead into the locker room.

Both teams saw a lot of action from the free throw line in the second half, but it was the three made shots from the field from each team that gave both Chelsea and Helena 10 points in the third quarter.

While Chelsea trailed 39-25 at the end of the third quarter, it didn’t give up in the final minutes of the game. Seven points in the fourth from Avery Futch and five from Gavin Collett helped the Hornets trim the gap to single digits.

However, the Huskies shot 9-for-12 from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes to keep Chelsea at bay and close out the nine-point win despite playing without starters Ian Johnigan and Joseph King.

Williams led all scorers with 22 points, while Davis had 11 points for the Huskies and Denton McDonald scored 10 points.

For Chelsea, Futch scored 10 points, Garcia had nine points off three made three-pointers and both Collett and Christen Whetston scored seven points each.