Survive and Advance.
The old March Madness saying is exactly what the Chelsea girls’ basketball team Wednesday night when the Bulldogs ground out a 26-21 win over SEC White rival Tecumseh in the Division 2 district semifinals at Onsted.
It was the third time the two teams had met this season and the two previous contests were battles. The game was no different as neither teams offense could do much as the defenses locked down all evening.
Madeleine Kennedy hit an and-one to give Chelsea an early lead and a pair of Helena Schultz baskets put the Bulldogs on top 7-6 after one quarter.
Both teams offenses struggled in the second as the Indians outscored the Bulldogs 4-2 to take a 10-9 lead at the half.
Tecumseh led 11-9 midway through the third quarter, but a basket by Kennedy and four straight points by Maddie Vasquez, including a steal a breakaway layup, gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 15-11.
A basket by Riley Davis made it 17-11, but Tecumseh hit a triple to cut the lead to 17-14 after three.
Kennedy hit a triple to start a 7-0 Bulldog run to make it 24-14 with 4:20 left.
The Indians banked in a triple and Abby McDowell hit a long triple and was fouled. She sank the free throw for a four-point play to cut the Chelsea lead to 25-21 with 1:54 left.
The Bulldogs had a chance to put the game away, but twice missed the front end of one-and-ones in the final 1:30.
Tecumseh could not take advantage of the missed free throws as they missed several shots down the stretch. Kennedy blocked a shot with 2.4 left and Vaquez was fouled. She split the pair to make the final 26-21.
Schultz led Chelsea with 10 points, while Kennedy added eight. Vasquez finished with five and Davis three.
The Bulldogs (21-1) advance to Friday’s district finals at Onsted where they will face Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (8-10) at 7:00 PM.