The Chelsea High boys basketball team took on Lynn Classical Tuesday night in an opening round contest of the MIAA Division 2 North Sectional state tournament Tuesday evening before a big crowd at the Chelsea High gym.
The Red Devils were the number seven seed in the bracket with a 14-6 record and were coming in as champions of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. Classical was the 10th seed with a 13-7 mark and had finished in third place in the North Division of the Northeastern Conference.
For long time Red Devil fans, the contest brought back memories of the 1979 D-2 semifinal contest between Chelsea and Classical, when the Red Devils were led by Jay Ash and Classical was led by a host of stars that included Tony Thurman. And yes, CHS head coach Jay Seigal was an assistant at that time to Jack Niven.
Classical emerged victorious in that battle and Chelsea fans were hoping that history would not repeat itself.
However, despite putting up a valiant effort Tuesday night, Chelsea came up on the short end of a 70-52 decision.
The contest was a nip and tuck affair for most of the way, with the teams separated by just one point with two minutes to go in the third period. But Classical went on a run that carried over into the fourth period and the Red Devils never were able to climb back into the fray.
Sammy Mojica led Chelsea with 15 points, while Joe Rivera added nine and Felix Crespo hit for six.
“We played well for three quarters, but then fell apart,” said Seigal. “The boys played hard the whole way and left everything out on the floor, but in the end it wasn’t enough.”
Although the tourney loss was a disappointing way to end the 2010-11 campaign, Seigal said it did not diminish the accomplishments of his team this year.
“A lot of people did not rate us highly at the beginning of the season because we had lost some key players to graduation,” said Seigal. “But we proved them wrong. We won the league title and made the tourney. It was a great year.”