The Chelsea High boys basketball team made a quick exit from the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament with a 68-42 loss to Marblehead Monday on the latter’s home court.
The Red Devils, who came into the tourney seeded 18th in the D-2 North bracket with a 10-10 record, ran into a hot Marblehead squad, the 15th seed at 11-9 in the D-2 North, that started fast and built a commanding 47-11 lead by half-time. Although Chelsea played well after the intermission, outscoring Marblehead 16-11 in the third period and 31-21 in the second half, the large deficit to a Marblehead squad which featured a substantial height advantage over Chelsea proved incapable of being overcome.
“Marblehead came out fired up in front of its home crowd and was more ready to play than we were,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal, whose Red Devils were led in the scoring column by Eric Flores, who hit for 11 points. “Our Achilles heel all season has been our slow starts in many of our games. Sometimes you can overcome them, but in the state tourney against a quality opponent, you have to be ready to go from the opening tip.”
Although the loss was a disappointing one, as it always is for every team in the tourney other than the last team left standing, the Red Devils overall enjoyed a successful year in reaching the tourney, which required a late-season victory over a Division 1 Lexington team.
“We had a lot of high notes this season,” noted Seigal. “We’ll miss the seniors who’ll be leaving us (Oscar Sabillon, Jorge Ramos, Eric Martinez, Carlos Vega, Freddie Ortiz, and Abdala Bana), but we have a strong nucleus of players coming back for next year.”