Chelsea Girls Basketball Wins Home Opener

By: Seth Kinker,

The Chelsea Bulldog Girls basketball team, 3-0 (1-0), defeated the Pinckney Pirates, 1-2 (0-1), 48-21 on Champions Night in Chelsea.

A 15-4 third quarter sealed the game for the Bulldogs as the young Pirates replace four starters from last year’s team.

This year, the Pirates have six underclassmen in the rotation, with only one senior a returning starter, with the Bulldogs returning a wealth of expereince from their SEC White title last year.

First quarter

The Pirates jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the game, and it wasn’t until halfway through the quarter the Bulldogs claimed their first lead, going on a 7-0 run.

Bulldog junior guard Riley Davis hit a corner three on an inbounds for the 7-6 lead,  then Bulldog senior forward Jenna Fosdick had another easy lay in on an inbounds play after senior forward Maddie Vasquez sealed the inside lane for the easy pass. 

Pinckney sophomore forward Annabelle Sharp stopped the run with an inside lay-up to make it 9-8 still in favor in Chelsea. Sharp led the team with 12 points but got in to foul trouble as the game went on. 

With under forty second, senior Abby Fullerton made a three pointer from the wing to give the Bulldogs a 12-8 lead.

Second quarter

After the first quarter, a point of emphasis for the Bulldogs was to get the ball inside to leading returning scorer Vasquez. 

“We wanted to get the ball in the paint,” confirmed Bulldog head coach Todd Blomquist after the win. “Establish ourselves in there and get touches for (Vazquez). She’s a really skilled post player, a 3-year varsity player so it’s always good to get her the ball.”

She answered the bell, establishing deep post position and forcing Pinckney to foul her, or give up easy lay ups. She outscored the Pirates in the second quarter herself, 8-7, with the Bulldogs taking the 24-15 halftime lead.

“The first quarter was a little shaky, so we knew we had to come out stronger (as a team),” said Vazquez, who worked on going up strong and finishing around the rim this offseason. She finished with 11 points to lead the team.

Third quarter

Throughout the night, the two best players on the court, Vasquez and Sharp were matched up. Early in the third quarter, Sharp got into foul trouble forcing her to the bench, and Vasquez took advantage. 

“Annabelle (Sharp) did a great job with Vasquez in the first half.” Said Pinckney head coach Jared Cogswell. “Unfortunately, she did get two fouls so early in the second half we had to watch the so she wouldn’t pick up her third. that’s when Vasquez got a few offensive boards in a row and she’s gonna do that. Annabelle makes a difference (on defense) being a presence in there. On the first couple of possessions in the second half they knocked down their shots and they executed well. A senior led team, experienced, well coached, that’s the difference there.

The Bulldogs switched up their defense in the quarter, pressing more and forcing a young Pirate team into turnovers. 

“We wanted to finish more and keep the tempo,” said Blomquist on his second half plans. “We thought we had them running and wanted to keep them playing fast, I thought we had our best stretch in the thirdnow we have to make that stretch a bit longer.”

Ending the quarter on a 9-2 run, the Bulldogs led 39-19 heading into the final quarter

Fourth quarter

The Bulldogs outscored the Pirates 9-2 in the fourth to wrap up their home and conference opener, 48-21, to move to 3-0 (1-0). The Pirates dropped to 1-2 (0-1). 

Photos by Lynne Beauchamp

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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