The CHS Lady Jackets split two games Jan. 23 and 24, falling to the Sesser-Valier Red Devils and winning at Trico. The win against the Lady Pioneers was the first conference victory for CHS in the Black Diamond Conference West Division this season.
Prior to the varsity game, Chester High School recognized CHS junior Lady Jacket guard, Destiny Williams, for reaching her 1,000th career point as a high school athlete. In a touching ceremony, Williams was presented with a basketball encased in glass by none other than Jennifer Knowles-Coleman, the only other Lady Jacket in CHS school history to score 1,000 points (in 1996).
Williams reached her milestone on Dec. 20, in the second quarter of a game against Cobden when she drained a three-pointer. It was an away game, and so there was no game stoppage or celebration at that time.
Jennifer Knowles-Coleman is the daughter of CHS Head Coach Pat Knowles.
Knowles said his daughter scored 1,566 points in her high school career.
"I think Destiny has a chance to beat that record," he added. "We wish her the best of luck and Jennifer is honored to be the one to present Destiny with her award."
Sesser 60; CHS 49
The Sesser-Valier Lady Red Devils are always tough, and it didn't help that the girls from Popeye Town came out cold and could only muster up seven points in the first quarter -- five by Reese Chandler, who drained a three and got a short jumper. Freshman Alyssa Seymour also made a layup.
Sesser scored 10 points with Zahn and Breeze scoring four apiece and Page knocking down a shot. Chester trailed by just three after the first period, 10-7.
In the second quarter the Lady Jackets woke up and had offensive production from all five starters. Destiny Williams got hot and hit a pair of three-pointers and a field goal. Reese Chandler hit her second three of the night and Kendall Williams knocked down a pair of field goals. Josie Kattenbraker rounded out the quarter with a two-pointer.
The Red Devils had a 15-point effort in the second led by five points from Wilderman on a three and a field goal. Zahn also scored five with two field goals and 1-of-2 from the free throw line. J. McCowen added three points on a long trey and Page added a field goal. Chester outscored Sesser, 18-15 in the second quarter to tie the game at 25-25 at halftime.
After the break, the Lady Jackets came out strong. Reese Chandler hit her third three-pointer of the game and Kendall Williams also drained a trey. Alyssa Seymour put in a layup and made 1-of-1 at the line. Josie Kattenbraker was 2 for 2 at the line.
The Red Devils broke the tie, however, adding another 15 points to their total on a pair of three-pointers by S. McCowen and the second three of the game from J. McCowen. Breeze put in a pair of two-pointers and Page hit a field goal. Sesser led by four points, 40-36, heading into the final period.
"I thought we had a good opportunity after three quarters, trailing by only four points against a very good Sesser-Valier team," Knowles said. "Our girls were fighting hard and staying with the game plan. We were right where we needed to be to pull out the win."
Alas, throughout the season the Lady Jackets have frequently had one quarter where they just cannot score when needed. The fourth quarter against Sesser was one of those times. Destiny Williams connected on a three-pointer, Josie Kattenbraker and Alyssa Seymour made two pointers, but after that, field goals fell short.
"Down the stretch, we missed some shots we could have made and Sesser made shots that they could have missed," Knowles said. "Once we got behind, we panicked a bit and had to start fouling to stop the clock."
Chester sent the Lady Devils to the line 18 times in the fourth quarter, for 12 points, which was the difference in the game.
In the loss, the Jackets had four players in double figures: Destiny Williams (11 points, two assists); and Reese Chandler (11 points, a deflection and a steal); Josie Kattenbraker (10 points, one deflection) and Alyssa Seymour (10 points, six rebounds, one loose ball recovery and two blocked shots).
Kendall Williams had seven points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
As a team, the Lady Jackets made 10 of 13 free throws. From the field, Chester was 16 of 41 for 39 percent shooting.
Sesser-Valier was led by three players in double figures: Wilderman with 14; Zahn with 13 and S. McCowen with 11. Other Red Devil contributors were Breeze (8), Page (8) and J. McCowen (6). At the line, Sesser made 13 of 23 free throws.
CHS 67; Trico 26
Chester roared out of the gate with a 28-6 first quarter trouncing of the Lady Pioneers. The Jackets were hitting on all cylinders as Destiny Williams knocked out 13 points on two three pointers, three two-pointers and a free throw.
Josie Kattenbraker hit three field goals and a trey. Reese Chandler drained a trademark 3-pointer and Kendall Williams scored on a field goal and one free shot. The ladies were not done yet, however, as Alyssa Seymour dropped a pair of free throws and Chester led, 28-6.
It was hard to get the Jacket train stopped in the second quarter as Chester scored another 23 points before the half. Kattenbraker led the charge with two field goals and 2-for-2 from the line. Seymour added five points on two field goals and a free shot.
Peyton Clendenin connected for a pair of baskets. Kendall Williams hit a two-pointer and a free throw. Reese Chandler hit her second 3-pointer of the night and Destiny Williams made a field goal.
Trico added 12 points on two field goals made by M. Wettig, a pair of 3-pointers from H. Wolters and a field goal from R. Zepeda. Chester led, 51-18 at the halftime break.
Head Coach Pat Knowles started subbing after halftime, but the Lady Jackets still outscored Trico 14-1 in the third quarter. Clendenin and Katie Shinabargar both hit baskets, Reese Chandler really came alive with a trey and a pair of field goals. Destiny Williams sank her third 3-pointer of the night. The Pioneers' only point came from M. Wettig on a free throw. The Jackets led 65-19 after three periods.
Trico outscored Chester 7-2 in the final period behind R. Zepeda's two field goals and a trey from H. Wolters. Chester's two points came from a Torre Berger field goal. Off the bench, Maria Nickle, Katie Shinabargar, Ally Rowold, Peyton Clendenin, Torre Berger, and Audrey Hopper played for Chester.
As a team Chester was led by Destiny Williams (18), Josie Kattenbraker (15), and Reese Chandler (13). Other contributors were Alyssa Seymour (7), Peyton Clendenin (6), Kendall Williams (4), and Katie Shinabargar and Torre Berger with two points apiece.
Chester shot 26 of 56 from the field and 8 of 12 from the free throw line. The Lady Jackets made 19 two-point shots and seven 3-pointers. Chester also grabbed 18 rebounds, dished out 13 assists, recorded eight steals, three deflections, and two loose ball recoveries and blocked two shots. They committed eight turnovers.
Trico was paced by R. Zepeda with 10 points followed by H. Wolters (9), M. Wettig (5) and B. Kuhnert (2). As a team Trico made 1 of 3 free throws.
With the win, Chester improved to an overall record of 15-13 and got their first Black Diamond Conference win of the season.
"This was a good win for the girls," Knowles said after the game. "They played hard and I got a lot of players off the bench in the second half. My starters sat out the entire second half.
"Trico is facing some issues this year with some major injuries and other matters, but we had a good night and got a much-needed win in the BDC."