Boys hoop team opens with 71-59 triumph
The Chelsea High boys basketball team opened its 2011-12 season in fine fashion with a runaway 71-59 triumph at Minuteman Regional Tuesday night.
The contest was not as close as the final score might indicate, inasmuch as the Red Devils led by as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter, enabling CHS head coach Jay Siegel to utilize many of his younger players.
The victory displayed the sort of hard charging offense and nimble defense that Chelsea fans can expect this season from the small, but quick Red Devil quintet, which will be led by the potent backcourt duo of Sean Quiroz and Sammy Mojica. The pair combined for 52 points on the night, with Quiroz draining seven three pointers and Mojica, who was the MVP at the Syracuse University schoolboy basketball camp in the summer, doing it all at both ends of the floor.
Rugged Kevin DeJesus, who manned the middle for the Red Devils, reached double figures with 11 points. Rob Hinckley chipped in with four points and Eddie Irizarry and Carlos Vazquez added two points each.
“It was a nice way to open the season,” said Siegel. “Sean and Sammy were superb and overall we did a lot of good things. We need to keep an up-tempo pace and always push the ball. We don’t have a lot of height, so we’ll need all five players to rebound. But we hope to utilize our quickness on defense to create opportunities in transition.”
Siegel figures that Whittier and Lynn Tech will be the prime contenders for the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large School championship in hopes of dethroning the Red Devils, who captured the title last year.
Siegel and his crew host Greater Lowell Friday at 5:00 and travel to Greater Lawrence Tuesday.
Girls basketball team cruises to a 64-29 win
The Chelsea High girls basketball team, which enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in Lady Red Devil history last year, picked up where it left off in the season opener Tuesday against Minuteman, cruising to a 64-29 runaway victory.
The contest never was in doubt, as Chelsea grabbed a 19-10 lead after the first period and expanded it to a 36-16 bulge at the half.
“We came out with a lot of energy and got off to a great start,” said CHS head coach Matt LaBranche, “so we knew it was going to be a good night.”
Three Lady Red Devils hit for double figures, led by center Shuly Sejour, who turned in a monster performance with 17 points and 15 rebounds, including many off the offensive boards. Forward Lindsey Fuentes also came through with a nice double- double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.
Junior captain and point guard Madeleine Vielman also reached the double figure plateau with 11 points and dished out five assists. Also contributing in a major way to the CHS offensive production was senior Tatiana Fuentes, who chipped in eight points.
Other scorers for the Lady Red Devils were sophomore Joanna Ventura, one of the quickest members of the team, with five points; soph Jennifer Medrano, whom LaBranche termed as “vastly improved,” with four points; Barbara Carron, who hauled in six rebounds, with two points; Karolyn Moni, who was lauded by LaBranche for her tough defensive effort, with two points; newcomer Vanessa Claudomir with two points; and Marsha Mars and Bahiya Nasuuna with a point apiece.
“We have almost everyone back from last year, so we’re looking to build upon our success of last season and reach even greater heights,” said LaBranche, who is in his eighth year at the helm of the CHS girls program. “We have a lot of speed and quickness on the defensive end and that creates a lot of turnovers.”
The Lady Red Devils travel to Greater Lowell Friday and to Presentation of Mary on Monday, both of which will be key battles against division rivals, before they return home to host Greater Lawrence on Tuesday afternoon at 4:45.