The Chester Lady Yellow Jackets may be building for the future, but their opening win of the 2019 playoffs shows they are totally in the moment.
They advanced to the semifinal round of the regional, facing No. 4 Pinckneyville at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 (results too late for the Herald Trib's press time).
Trico started the scoring when Rhegan Zepeda made a pair of free throws. Lady Jacket Destiny Williams scored on a driving layup 32 seconds later to tie the game, but a minute later Trico's Megan Wettig drained a 3-pointer to retake the lead for Trico, 5-2.
That would be the Lady Pioneers' biggest lead of the night. Chester's Alyssa Seymour was fouled on a move to the basket 3 seconds later and made both shots.
That started a 21-0 Lady Jacket run that would leave Trico scoreless until Megan Wettig scored on a short field goal with just 18 seconds left in the first quarter. Chester led, 21-7 at the end of the first period.
In that first quarter Destiny Williams paced the Jackets with four two-pointers, a huge three-pointer and two foul shots. Josie Kattenbraker started what would end up being an award-winning night for her as she scored two points on a jumper and made 2 of 4 free throws. Kendall Williams added two points on a hard, quick drive to the hoop and Alyssa Seymour hit a pair of free throws.
The second quarter was huge, as the Jackets outscored the Pioneers 25-10, and led 46-19 at the half.
During that stretch sophomore Josie Kattenbraker scored nine of Chester's 25 points. Kendall Williams had back-to-back layups on assists from Destiny Williams. Destiny Williams hit a field goal of her own, giving the Jackets a 27-7 lead at 6:50.
Kattenbraker was fouled on the next play and sank both free throws. The Lady Jacket's 8-0 run was stopped when Trico's Rayahna Foutch made a free throw at the 5:25 mark, for Trico's first score of the quarter.
Chester's Reese Chandler made back-to-back shots, and Kattenbraker, not to be outdone, followed with her own back-to-back field goals.
Trico's Myah Kelley scored on a field goal and Megan Wettig made a free throw and hit a 3-point bucket, pulling Trico within 22 points, 37-15, at the 2:19 mark.
Coach Pat Knowles began substituting from his bench, and Kailyn Absher, Kendall Williams, Katie Shinabargar, Peyton Clendenin and Josie Kattenbraker steered the ship the rest of the first half. Shinabargar scored twice on a pair of field goals, Kattenbraker drained a huge three-pointer and Kendall Williams got a big steal, drove the length of the floor and scored on a driving layup.
The Lady Jackets took a 29-point lead, 46-17, into the locker room at halftime.
After the break, the Jackets continued to fly high, going on a 12-4 run to extend the lead to 37 points, 58-21. Coach Knowles continued to utilize his bench heavily during the period.
Kattenbraker began the second half by draining a 3-point shot just 1:10 into the half. CHS led, 48-17 at 6:25. Trico's Megan Wettig sank a free throw, but then Chester went on an 8-0 run featuring Kendall Williams, Kattenbraker, Alyssa Seymour and Katie Shinabargar.
Trico's Haylee Wolters broke the Jacket run with her 3-point connection at 2:48 to pull Trico within 35 points, 56-21.
At 2:10, Clendenin, Kattenbraker, Shinabargar and Absher took over the rest of the period, and Chester led 58-21 after three quarters.
The mercy rule was invoked in the final period as Chester led by more than 30 points. Knowles stuck with his bench the rest of the game and Ally Rowold and Katie Shinabargar each scored two-point field goals to end the game.
Trico, on the other hand, had a nice nine point fourth quarter as Megan Wettig, Rhegen Zepeda and Emma McComb each hit two-pointers and Haylee Wolters drained a three.
In the win Chester was led by Josie Kattenbraker with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, five steals, three deflections, and one loose ball recovery. For her efforts, Kattenbraker was honored as the Chester Player of the Game by Southern Illinois Sports Productions, WXAN 103.9 FM and Border North Marketing.
The other Lady Jacket scorers were Destiny Williams (15), Kendall Williams (10), Katie Shinabargar (10), Reese Chandler (4), Alyssa Seymour (4) and Ally Rowold (2).
The Jackets outrebounded Trico 42-13 behind the three leading efforts of Katie Shinabargar (7), Alyssa Seymour (7), Kailyn Absher (6), and Reese Chandler (6). Kendall Williams led the Jackets in assists with four, seals with six, and deflections with five. Alyssa Seymour had two blocked shots.
Chester shot 49 percent from the field. Kendall Williams shot 83 percent; Kattenbraker shot 75 percent; Shinabargar shot 71 percent and Destiny Williams shot 50 percent. The Jackets were 50 percent in free throws.
Trico was led by Megan Wettig with 14 points, followed by Haylee Wolters (6), Rhegen Zepeda (4), Mya Kelley (3), and Rayahna Foutch (1). As a team Trico shot 58 percent from the line.