Chelsea Boys Basketball Falls in District Opener

Ronnie Buford powers to the hoop for two against Dundee. Picture by Mike Williamson

 Free throws.

What basketball players think is the most boring part of practice. But in a game situation they can be the difference in a win or a loss, especially when a team shoots 20 more free throws than another team.

This happened to the Chelsea basketball team in the District opener against Dundee Monday night as the Bulldogs they fell to Dundee 52-49.

Dundee was 19 of 23 from the free throw line, which most of those came in the fourth quarter.

Chelsea went to the line just twice for the game and made one.

Hunter Neff drives to the basket against Dundee. Picture by Mike Williamson

The Bulldogs play a fast-paced, aggressive defense which when being allowed can cause havoc on an offense, when not allowed, it can cause headaches for their coach because of foul trouble and sending the other team to the line.

The first half, the referees allowed it, the second half they did not.

Neither team was called for many fouls the first half in which Dundee held a 24-20 lead.

The second half was a different story for the Bulldogs, as more fouls were called and Dundee took advantage of it.

Chelsea was trailing when he ignited the Bulldogs with a blocked shot that he sent halfway up the bleachers. The Bulldogs went on a run from there and outscored the Vikings 12-5 in the third to take a 32-29 after three.

Dundee retook the lead with four straight points to begin the fourth, all from the free throw line.

Just six of the Vikings 23 fourth-quarter points were from baskets, the rest were from the charity stripe as they continued to go there, but they also continued to make the free shots.

Dundee’s lead grew to five, but triples by Ronnie Buford and Quinn Starkey sandwiched one of the Dundee baskets to cut the lead to 41-40.

The lead got pushed back to six with an And-One, but Starkey nailed another three to cut it to back to three.

Chelsea trailed 51-47 when Hunter Lay grabbed a rebound and scored the putback to make it 51-49.

Dundee made off of two from the line and the Bulldogs had a chance with 30 seconds left. They tried to set up for a shot and had three tries from three-point range, but they all bounced off the rim as the Vikings held on for the win.

Ronnie Buford had a huge night with 23 points to lead the Bulldogs.

Starkey finished with 10 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Adam Hauser finished with six, and Lay four points.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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