Chelsea improves to 15-0, holds off Mountain Brook

Published 7:45 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

CHELSEA – In their first game since being named the No. 3 team in Class 7A by the media, the Chelsea Hornets proved they belong among the top teams of the state with a hard-fought 48-42 win over the Mountain Brook Spartans on Friday, Dec. 15.

The win took the Hornets to 15-0 on the season as they held on for their second win of the season against the No. 10 team in Class 6A.

The Spartans and Hornets opened the game with a close first quarter, and Mountain Brook held a 7-4 advantage late in the quarter. However, Chelsea trimmed the lead to one before the end of the quarter and trailed only 7-6 going into the second.

It didn’t take long into the second quarter for the Hornets to take the lead, and they shot well to open up a wider lead over the Spartans.

Juliann Bass hit a three-pointer to put Chelsea up six with three minutes to go in the half. Mountain Brook clawed back within two a minute-and-a-half later, but the Hornets regained control of the game with a pair of baskets to lead 19-12 at halftime.

Caroline Brown and Haley Trotter combined for seven points to start the third and increase Chelsea’s lead to 12, taking advantage of Spartans turnovers to score.

The Hornets remained up double-digits for the next couple of minutes, but the Spartans responded to cut the lead to 32-27 going into the fourth and final quarter.

After the Spartans scored to open the quarter to pull within two, Chelsea scored three baskets in less than a minute, and a layup by Sadie Schwallie forced Mountain Brook to call a timeout to limit the damage.

The Hornets retook a 10-point lead during the middle stretch of the fourth, but the Spartans hit three-pointers to get back within single digits.

That put the pressure on Chelsea in the last couple of minutes, but the Hornets made their free throws to keep the visitors at bay, and a pair of rebounds by Trotter sealed the 48-42 win to stay perfect.

Trotter nearly recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 9 steals, and four blocks. Brown led all scorers in the game with 16 points, and Schwallie added 10 points and five steals to become the third Hornet to score double-figures.