The Chelsea High boys basketball team came out on the short end of a 65-64 decision to Greater Lowell in overtime last week. The contest was a nip and tuck affair from the opening tap to the final buzzer with neither team able to open up a lead beyond six to seven points before the other counterpunched to keep things close.
But, especially now during the holiday season, the old adage, “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas,” proved especially true for the Red Devils in the final outcome.
Chelsea held a seven point edge in the fourth period, but two key events proved the Devils’ downfall. The first was point guard Sean Quiroz fouling out early in the period. The second was the Red Devils’ inability to hit their free throws down the stretch. Altogether, Chelsea failed on 15 attempts from the charity stripe on the evening.
“We certainly missed not having Sean in the fourth period,” said CHS head coach Jay Siegel. “But we still could have won the game if we had hit just a few more of our free throws. The refs called a tight game which placed both teams in the bonus fairly early on in the second half. We missed ours, but Greater Lowell hit theirs.
Indeed, Greater Lowell’s success at the line at the end of regulation sent the game into OT, and then a free throw with four seconds to play provided the winning margin in the overtime session.
Eddie Rosales stepped up with Quiroz on the bench and struck for a game high 16 points. Sammy Mojica reached double figures with 15 and Quiroz ended up with eight.
“We knew Greater Lowell would be a tough opponent,”noted Siegel, “but we failed to finish a lot of our easy shots and then we missed too many free throws, which you cannot afford to do against a good team like Lowell.”
The Red Devils are back in action today (Thursday), trekking to Greater Lawrence, and then will play in the Beverly Christmas tourney starting Wednesday.
Medrano’s free throws
push CHS girls past PMA
Sophomore Jennifer Medrano sank a pair of clutch free throws in the waning seconds of the game to lift the Chelsea High girls basketball team past archrival Presentation of Mary Academy, 50-49, Tuesday evening at PMA.
The contest was a physical and emotional one for the Lady Red Devils, who saw teammate Barbara Carron leave the court for the hospital after she hit the floor hard on her head in the third period.
Barbara, who was accompanied by coach Matt LaBranche to the hospital, was checked out and is okay, but her loss, as well as that of Shuly Sejour, who fouled out, ultimately proved significant, as PMA was able to rally from a 42-30 deficit after three quarters to grab a 49-48 lead before Medrano came through with her heroics.
A number of Lady Red Devils turned in fine efforts, led by Sejour’s double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, impressive numbers considering Shuly missed almost the entire fourth period.
Lindsey Fontes also forwarded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Madeleine Vielman reached double figures with 10 points. Medrano and Tatiana Fuentes chipped in four points each and Karolyn Moni added an important point on a free throw.
Last Friday the Lady Red Devils engaged in another barnburner, this time against Greater Lowell. The contest was a true battle royale, with the teams never being separated by more than three points at any of the quarter-junctions, finally ending up at a 48-48 deadlock at the end of regulation.
However, in the OT session, Greater Lowell took control and came away with a 57-52 triumph.
Whereas successful foul shooting proved the Lady Red Devils’ salvation against PMA, it was their downfall against Gr. Lowell, with Chelsea hitting on only about a third of their chances at the charity stripe.
Fontes was a force with 15 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Fuentes also turned in a rugged effort with eight points and 10 rebounds. Vielman hit for nine points. Sejour, who once again fouled out and missed the entire fourth period, added seven points, as did Carron. Medrano chipped in with six points.
“We played very well against Greater Lowell, which is in the upper division of our conference,” said LaBranche. “If we had been able to do a little bit better at the free throw line, we could have won going away.”
The Lady Red Devils host Greater Lawrence today (Thursday) at 4:15 and then are off until after the vacation break when they play at Mt. Alvernia on January 3.