Chelsea reaches regionals with win over Oak Mountain behind Trotter’s 31 points

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, February 6, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

TRUSSVILLE – With the lights shining bright and the season on the line, the Chelsea Hornets defense delivered in the area semifinals on Monday, Feb. 5, but they also had some help on the other end of the floor.

Haley Trotter turned in one of her most dominant performances to date with 31 points and 17 rebounds, and the junior was supported by freshman Olivia Pryor’s 17 points and seven rebounds in the 58-28 win at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

The win seals the Hornets’ place in the Sweet 16 and sets up a battle for the area crown against Hewitt-Trussville on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

Despite key contributor Caroline Brown not playing in the game, Chelsea came flying out of the gate with a 9-0 run in the first 2:05 of the game powered by early baskets from Trotter and Pryor.

The Eagles’ Maggie Norris stopped the tide with a three-pointer with 4:19 left in the first, and that kicked off a more closely fought stretch of the game.

Trotter took the lead to 10 with just over a minute left, but Oak Mountain trimmed the deficit down to eight to make the score 16-8 at the end of the quarter.

Trotter was well on her way to a double-double with nine points, six rebounds and three steals in the first quarter alone, and she accomplished it during the second quarter with six points and five more rebounds before halftime.

Pryor also had six points in the quarter as the Hornets overcame the Oak Mountain pressure throughout the second. Chelsea regained a double-digit lead early and slowly but surely built on it with 12 points in the second quarter.

On the other end of the floor, the Hornets held the Eagles to just two second-quarter points to take a 28-10 lead into the locker room.

Just like in the first quarter, Chelsea started the third strong with quick baskets. This time, the points came from Sadie Schwallie as she scored four points in the opening minute to extend the lead.

From there, it was all Trotter in the third quarter.

She dominated both from the field and at the free throw line, making four field goals and going 4-4 from the foul stripe to score 12 points in the third. She also attacked the boards and finished out her rebounding total with six more during the quarter.

The Hornets continued to hold Oak Mountain quiet from the field, surrendering just four points until a three-pointer with 15 seconds left in the third by Caroline Kester.

With Chelsea leading 45-17 after the third quarter, Trotter and Pryor closed out their scoring tabs with four points from Trotter in the first three minutes of the quarter and six from Pryor.

With the game in hand, both teams gave their reserves the chance to finish out the game.

Oak Mountain fought until the end and had its best scoring quarter of the game in the fourth with 11 points, but it was not enough to close the gap as the Hornets took the dominant win to advance.

In her final game with the Eagles, Raegan Whitaker led her team with eight points. Kester followed with seven points and Ella Holt scored five points.