The Chester High School Lady Yellow Jackets will begin competition in the 2019 IHSA Class 2A Regional Tournament with an opening game at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 against the Trico Lady Pioneers.
Chester is seeded #5 and plays in the Trico Regional. Other teams in the Trico Class 2A regional are #1-seeded Nashville, Pinckneyville (4), Red Bud (8), Sparta (9) and Trico (11).
Lady Yellow Jacket Head Coach Pat Knowles is confident his girls can compete with all of them.
"We can play with all of the teams in our regional if we play hard and are focused," he said. "It just depends on if the girls are having a good night and come to play. Our girls are young, but they have proved that they can compete with anyone on a given night."
There are four regional tournaments that feed into the Red Bud Sectional Tournament -- Trico, Trenton-Wesclin, Vienna and Wayne City. The Red Bud Sectional feeds into the Salem Super-Sectional.
The game schedule is:
1. 6 p.m. Feb. 4, #8 Red Bud vs. #9 Sparta.
2. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, #5 Chester vs. #11 Trico
3. 6 p.m. Feb. 5, #1 Nashville vs. winner of Game 1. 4. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5, #4 Pinckneyville vs. winner of Game 2.
5. 7 p.m. Feb. 7, championship game featuring the Game 3 winner vs. the Game 4 winner.
The Lady Jackets got a huge boost in confidence Monday when they beat the Christopher Lady Bearcats in a knockdown, drag-out that came down to the final 4.6 seconds when CHS junior Destiny Williams took the ball hard to the hoop and knocked down a five-foot jumper to give the Jackets a 57-56 lead.
The Chester defense held Christopher scoreless in the final 4.6 seconds to win the game, but not before a time out and a last-second shot by Christopher at the buzzer that missed the backboard.
In that game, each team traded leads back-and-forth in the final quarter providing a great deal of excitement for fans and most-likely lots of stomach acid and frayed nerves for everyone involved including players, coaches, referees and fans.
The young Lady Jackets, however, maintained their cool, dealt with the pressure, excitement and continued tie-scores and lead changes down the final stretch to eventually remain the last team standing with the victory at the buzzer.
Jacket fans are encouraged to come to Campbell Hill on Feb. 4 for the first round of the 2019 IHSA Class 2A Regional hosted at Trico High School.