The Chelsea High girls basketball team improved to 3-0 on the season with a pair of important victories over key Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) rivals this past week.
The Lady Red Devils traveled to Minuteman Regional Friday night and came home with an impressive 50-41 triumph, marking the first Chelsea victory over Minuteman, which plays in the Large Division of the CAC, in five years.
The contest was hard fought, physical battle between the two foes, with the refs whistling 41 fouls on the night. “And it could have been even more,” added CHS head coach Matt LaBranche, who noted that his players were knocked to the floor on more than a couple of occasions and that three Lady Red Devils fouled out.
Senior guard Victoria Perez was among those who took a bit of a beating. Victoria was the high scorer for Chelsea with 12 points, despite being flattened and hitting her head on the floor, causing her to miss a good portion of the contest.
Junior Tatiana Fontes once again came through with a fine all around performance and scored 11 points. Junior Shuly Sejour added six points and pulled down a passel of rebounds, while sophomore Lindsey Fuentes continued to show strong play at both ends of the floor, chipping in with four points and grabbing a number of rebounds.
Among the other scorers for the Lady Red Devils were sophomores Madeline Vielmann and Karolyn Moni with four points each and Anisia Santiago with four points.
On Monday, LaBranche and crew hosted Presentation of Mary, a team that has been undefeated in the Small Division of the CAC for the past two seasons.
“We expected this to be a tough game because PMA has been so strong for the past couple of years and is always well coached,” said LaBranche. In addition, the Lady Red Devils were without the services of Perez, who was still feeling the effects of her head injury against Minuteman.
However, the Chelsea girls showed that this is going to be a different kind of season in the CAC. The Red and Black took it to PMA from the opening tip, both offensively and defensively, to bolt to a commanding 28-9 advantage at the intermission.
Although the Chelsea steamroller slowed down a bit in the third period in which PMA outscored the Lady Red Devils 7-2, Chelsea regained its momentum in the final frame to post a 42-20 victory.
Fontes reached double figures with 11 points. Sejour made a fine contribution with nine points, while Moni went on a mini tear for her six points. Vielmann and Fuentes hit for four points apiece and Bahiyabhaya .Nasuuna scored her first varsity hoop.
“It was a great win for us,” said LaBranche. “Our defense was phenomenal and despite a letdown in the third period, we stayed in control the entire way.”
Still, though his team has served notice that they figure to be a contender for divisional honors, LaBranche said it is too early in the season to be looking that far ahead. “We have to continue to work hard and take it one quarter at a time,” said the coach.
Chelsea will be off during the vacation break and will not return to action until Thursday, January 6, when they meet Northeast Regional Vocational School.