E.A. Sports Today

Chelsea stuns Lady Jackets

Two late free throws send Oxford girls to 55-53 defeat, virtually closing the window on the Jackets to repeat as area hosts

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Makayla Edwards was not going to let the Chelsea Hornets lose Friday night at the Oxford Sports Arena.

Edwards calmly dropped in two free throws with six seconds left to give the Hornets a 55-53 win over Oxford. Edwards finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds.

The win snapped a 10-game losing streak and avenged a 58-30 loss to Oxford just a few days ago. The Hornets improved to 1-2 in the area and drew even with the Lady Jackets in the standings.

Both of Oxford’s area losses have come after losing substantial second-half leads and virtually ends their chances of repeating as area champs.

“We have to overcome some obstacles in the last couple of weeks as we have lost five players and are down to nine players now,” Chelsea coach Clarissa Clark said. “Makalya had a bad game the last time out and she went home and went to work and our kids came in here tonight ready to play as a team.”

The Hornets (3-13) got all the rebounds and all the balls on the floor as they played with gritty determination.

“It just goes to show you that if teams stick together, work hard and persevere, then good things will happen.” said Clark.

The Jackets (8-9) came out slow in the first quarter as turnovers and a strong rebounding effort by the Hornets kept the game tight. Winter Taylor’s jumper from the free throw line at the buzzer tied the game at 10 as the first quarter ended.

The scrappy Hornets would not go away in the second quarter. Taylor’s six points staked the Jackets to a 24-19 lead, but Hope Richard scored late in the quarter to chop the lead to 24-23 at the half.

Taylor scored eight straight points at one point and Tremeria Britt nailed two 3s in the third quarter to open up a 38-26 lead, but back came the Hornets as they scored 10 straight points to cut the lead to 38-36 entering the fourth quarter.

“It was the third quarter that we let it get away from us,” said Oxford coach Tonya Peoples.

Edwards scored the first 13 Hornet points in the final quarter and they led 53-49 with 19 seconds to go. Oxford’s Jordan Smith dropped in two free throws and the Lady Jackets got a steal and a basket from Makayla Kidd hit a layup with 10 seconds left to tie the game.

The Hornets were fouled on their trip down the floor to set the stage for Edwards’ heroics.

Taylor led the Lady Jackets with 22 points and six rebounds while Jordan Smith chipped in with 13 points and six rebounds.

Chelsea 55, Oxford 53

CHELSEA (3-13) — Ashley Mock 1 0-0 2; Allison Miller 1 0-4 2; Kathryne Shoop 0 2-2 2; Michaella Edwards 9 11-15 32; Alexandria Dennis 2 0-0 4; Hope Richard 3 1-2-7; Khlari South 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 14-23 55

OXFORD (8-9) — Makayla Kidd 2 0-0-4; Winter Taylor 6 9-14 22; Kayla Lowery 1 0-0-2; Acacia Kidd 0,0-2-0; Tremeria Britt 3 4-4 10, Ebony Kelley 1 0-4 2; Jordan Smith 4 5-6 13.

Chelsea 10 13 13 19 — 55
Oxford 10 14 14 15 — 53

3-point goals: Chelsea Oxford 1 (Taylor); Chelsea 1 (Edwards).

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