Chelsea picks up pair of wins at Lady Eagle Christmas Classic

Published 11:05 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Chelsea Hornets earned their 16th and 17th wins of the season against Cullman and Oxford at the Lady Eagle Christmas Classic at Oak Mountain High School before taking their first loss of the season against Daphne.

The Hornets opened the tournament with a 48-30 win over the Cullman Bearcats on Monday, Dec. 18 after they came back from trailing at halftime to pull away in the second half.

Chelsea had the early edge in the opening quarter, scoring nine points including four first quarter points from Olivia Pryor.

While the Hornets led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, that changed as the Bearcats took the lead. They outscored Chelsea 11-7, but the Hornets kept pace with five points from Haley Trotter to only trail by one going into halftime.

After the break, Chelsea struck back and dominated on both offense and defense. Trotter and Pryor each scored five points in the third quarter while their defense held Cullman to just three points.

Now up 28-20, Chelsea kept its foot on the gas and saw out the win. Trotter added 10 more points and Sadie Schwallie scored all six of her points in the fourth quarter as the Hornets scored 20 more points to win by 18.

Trotter led the way with 23 points and Pryor scored 12 points as the Hornets picked up the scoring left behind from Caroline Brown’s absence.

Chelsea had an even bigger task of coming from behind double-digits against the Oxford Yellow Jackets on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The Hornets scored just six first-quarter points against the Jackets, which combined with Oxford’s 17 in the quarter gave it an 11-point lead.

However, Chelsea’s defense kicked into gear from there and gave the offense the chance to start its comeback.

The Hornets allowed just five points from the Jackets in the second quarter and added eight more to their total, including five from Trotter.

That let Chelsea trim the deficit by three and took them into the halftime break down 22-14.

The Hornets built on that momentum to take the lead in the third quarter. They went on a 14-4 run in the third as Trotter dominated with six points and four rebounds and Schwallie added four points.

Chelsea saved its best scoring quarter for last and dropped 16 points in the fourth to close out the 44-38 victory for its 17th straight win to start the season.

Trotter had 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on the day and Schwallie had 10 points.

The Hornets’ undefeated streak ended in their final game of the tournament against the Daphne Trojans on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Chelsea fell into an early five-point hole and couldn’t keep pace with Daphne as the game went on, going on to lose the game 46-34.

Schwallie led the Hornets with 12 points, Pryor had 11 and Trotter added nine to her tournament total.