Bulldogs Hold Off Williamston for District Title
It wasn’t as easy the second time around, but the Chelsea basketball team held off a scrappy Williamston squad to claim its first D2 district title since 2019 with a 53-47 win over the defending state champions.
Earlier in the season the Bulldogs had easily handled the Hornets with a 75-49 win, but Friday night was a different story with the district title on the line in the Hornet’s home gym.
Joey Cabana scored five first-quarter points to give help the Bulldogs take a 13-11 lead after one quarter.
Williamston would score first in the second to tie the game at 13, but the rest of the quarter was all Chelsea as the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to close the half with Drew Blanton scoring five and Jake Stephens four for a 24-13 halftime lead.
The Hornets showed they weren’t going to fold, coming out in the third quarter with a 17-4 run to take a 30-28 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the period.
Chelsea once again answered with a 10-0 run with Stephens scoring six and Blanton four for a 38-30 lead after three.
Williamston continued to hang tough, but a big three-pointer from Matt Blanton and some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Bulldogs hold on for the win.
Drew Blanton hit four key free throws in the final minute to help the Bulldogs seal the win.
Stephens led the Bulldogs with 18 points, including 11 in the second half.
D. Blanton had a big night when the Bulldogs needed it, finishing with 17 points and was a perfect 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
Cabana chipped in with 10 points, M. Blanton six, and Zach McIntosh two.
The Bulldogs reached the finals with a 73-55 win over Haslett. Stats were not available.
Chelsea will host the D2 Regional this week. The Bulldogs will take on Dundee (13-11) Monday night at 7:00 PN. Tecumseh and Charlotte will meet in the other semifinal at 5:30.
Photos by Mike Williamson and Dawn McCann