Chelsea boys win Lakeshore, Briarwood and Pelham perform well

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

The Chelsea Hornets kicked off the season in dominant fashion as they tied for first place in the Lakeshore Shootout Gold Division.

The Hornets tied with Homewood atop the standings after both teams went 3-0 in the tournament.

They headlined a strong tournament for Shelby County teams as Briarwood also went 3-0 and Pelham had a 2-1 record during the Lakeshore Shootout.

After Chelsea defeated Pelham 2-0 in the Shelby Derby to kick off the tournament, the Hornets offense kept rolling with a dominant performance against the Sparkman Senators on Friday, Feb. 10.

The Hornets erupted for six goals in the first half to cruise to victory over Sparkman.

The scoring started with a Luke Miller free kick that rolled into the back of the net. Kaleb Bass then found Javier Rivera Miranda to double the advantage, and Rivera Miranda got an assist of his own when he hit Max Wever with a cross that the junior forward scored to make it 3-0.

From there, Parker Dean took over the offense for the remainder of the half. He earned an assist on the fourth goal of the night by finding Bass, and then he scored the final two goals of the half off assists from Rivera Miranda and Garrett McLevaine.

While Chelsea surrendered a goal after halftime, Brock Marlow saved a penalty kick to prevent the Senators from adding to the lead. The Hornets then cruised to a 6-1 victory to improve to 2-0 in the tournament.

Chelsea then went into its final matchup of the tournament with the Calera Eagles in search of closing out the championship.

After a scoreless opening 25 minutes, an Eagles defender tackled Dean inside the box to give the Hornets an opportunity to get on the scoreboard with a penalty kick.

Bass then converted from the spot to give Chelsea the 1-0 lead. Just a couple of minutes later, Grant Saether slotted home the second goal of the night to make the halftime score 2-0.

Shortly into the second half, Saether secured his brace and closed out the scoring on the 3-0 win as well as a share of the Gold Division title.

With the victory, Chelsea moved up to No. 2 in the coaches poll in Class 7A, the highest ranking in program history.

Briarwood also went 3-0 at the Lakeshore Shootout, and it started the tournament out with a win over Calera on Friday, Feb. 9.

The Lions started out the matchup with a strong first half, scoring two goals against the Eagles defense to go up at the half.

While Calera scored a goal in the second half to put pressure on Briarwood, the Lions held strong the rest of the way to earn a 2-1 win against a 2023 Final 4 team in the Eagles.

Just a couple of hours after the win, Briarwood earned another win against Albertville to close out the day.

The Lions went up 1-0 in the first half to take control of the game early on.

After halftime, Briarwood kept building on its momentum and added a second goal before the close of the game to secure the 2-0 shutout victory.

The next day, it closed out the undefeated weekend with another victory over the Prattville Lions.

Just like the first half of the Albertville game, Briarwood got ahead early and scored in the first half to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Briarwood kept its goalless run going on defense to secure its second straight shutout, and then it doubled its advantage to go up 2-0.

It then saw out the victory to secure the 3-0 tournament record and third place in the Lakeshore Shootout and improve to 3-1 on the season.

On the opposite side of the Shelby Derby result, Pelham recovered from its loss to Chelsea to win back-to-back matches to end the Lakeshore Shootout.

The Panthers came back home on Friday, Feb. 9 to face the Calera Eagles in a county matchup.

Pelham went up 1-0 in the first half to take the early lead in the top 10 showdown.

Calera bounced back in the second half and scored a goal after the halftime break, but the Panthers also scored after halftime to keep the Eagles at bay and earn the 2-1 victory.

Pelham closed out the day with another tight match on Saturday, Feb. 10 against the Spanish Fort Toros.

While the Toros scored two goals, Elder Esquivel powered the Panthers offense with a strong scoring day to secure the result.

He scored a hat trick against Spanish Fort to help Pelham earn the 3-2 victory and close the Lakeshore Shootout on a high note.

With the result, the Panthers finished the tournament 2-1 and earned fifth place. Pelham improved to 4-1 on the season and moved up to No. 4 in the coaches poll.