Breaking News Bar

CHS girls basketball: Lady Jackets stumble in opener against Vienna

  • The varsity Lady Jackets and Lady Eagles stand for pre-game ceremonies at the 2021 season opener on Saturday.

    The varsity Lady Jackets and Lady Eagles stand for pre-game ceremonies at the 2021 season opener on Saturday.
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 2/12/2021 6:00 PM

With just two days of contact practices the Chester High School Lady Jacket basketball team was thrown into the fire at Vienna on Saturday, and both the varsity and junior varsity fell to the Lady Eagles.

Vienna 60, CHS 29
The varsity Lady Eagles started the game with a brief 4-0 run until Chester's Alyssa Seymour hit back-to-back free throws at the 6:28 mark. Josie Kattenbraker followed with two free throws of her own to tie the game at 4-4, after which a very scrappy Lady Jacket defense held the Eagles scoreless for two minutes.

With 2:59 to go in the first period Vienna's Rush hit a basket to take a two-point lead, but Chester's Josie Kattenbraker drained a field goal of her own to tie the game again at 6.

Vienna held Chester scoreless the remainder of the first quarter and added four more points to lead, 10-6 at the end of one quarter.

In the second quarter, Vienna roared out with a 23-9 run to take a 33-15 halftime lead. Vienna's Emme Treat led the charge with back-to back 3's and a pair of free throws. Haylie Oliver added seven points and Emma Rush scored six.

For the Lady Jackets, Alyssa Seymour carried the team in the second quarter, scoring seven of Chester's nine points with 5-of-7 at the free-throw line and one field goal. Kailyn Absher hit a bucket for the other two Lady Jacket points.

The third quarter started out as a defensive battle. Chester's Kailyn Absher sank another bucket and CHS trailed, 33-17. Seventeen seconds later Vienna's Rush drained a three-pointer which stopped the clock as that three pointer gave her 1,000 points for her high school career.

The Eagles were buoyed by the celebration to go on an 8-0 run, to lead 44-17 with just 3:59 remaining in the third quarter. At that point there was an official "mask break" at which time the girls had a chance to adjust their masks, breathe and rest a bit.

Coming out of the break, Chester's Josie Kattenbraker popped a three-pointer. Lady Jacket Kendall Williams then connected with back-to-back free throws to bring the Jackets within 22 points, 44-22 with 2:35 remaining in the third period.

But Vienna had another 6-2 run to lead, 50-24 at the end of the third period. Chester's Seymour scored the Jackets' only two points.

The fourth quarter was plagued with fouls and turnovers. Vienna's Rush fouled out at 6:36 and Natalie Webb fouled out at 3:36. The Eagles also had three turnovers. Chester won the turnover war with four turnovers and Lady Jacket Kendall Williams fouled out with 3:00 remaining in the game.

Throughout the entire game both teams spent a lot of time on the floor battling for loose balls and jump balls. The fourth quarter featured a 10-5 Vienna run as the Lady Eagles won the game.

Game stats:
• Chester was led by Alyssa Seymour with 13 points, followed by Josie Kattenbraker (10), Kailyn Absher (4), and Kendall Williams (2).

• Vienna was led by Emma Rush with 18 points followed by Addison Bent (14), Emme Treat (11), Haylie Oliver (7), Natalie Webb (6), Vinsen (2) and Moore (2).

The Lady Jackets' game with Trico on Monday was canceled due to ice and snow. The next game will be at Sesser-Valier on Thursday; and the Lady Jackets will host Goreville in the 2021 home opener on Feb. 15.

JV falls 33-13
The JV Lady Jackets battled hard throughout the entire game with a small roster of just six players, two of which are freshmen. In the first quarter CHS drew first blood leading 2-0 until Vienna scored at the 4:49 mark. Both JV squads were very scrappy and played very loosely. Both teams spent a big part of the game scrapping on the floor for loose balls or with jump balls.

Chester was carried by the Absher sisters in the first period with Maleia Absher hitting two buckets and Kailyn Absher connecting for a pair of free throws. Vienna led, 13-6 at the end of the first.

The second quarter was another loosely played period with Vienna charged with four fouls and a turnover and Chester three fouls and five turnovers. Each team scored just two points and the JV Lady Eagles led, 15-8 at halftime.

The third quarter was also a foul-fest with Vienna committing two fouls and two turnovers and Chester committed four fouls and had two jump balls and a pair of fouls. Vienna outscored Chester, 8-4 in the third, to lead 23-12 after three quarters. Kailyn Absher scored all four of Chester's points on two field goals.

In the final six minutes, Vienna outscored Chester 10-1 to seal the victory, 33-13. During the last stretch the Lady Jackets committed five fouls and had back-to-back turnovers to end the game.

Game stats:
CHS was led by Kailyn Absher's 6 points, followed by Maleia Absher (4), and Camryn Howie (3).

Vienna was paced by Whiting who logged 12 points followed by Moore (8), Webb (3) and Kerly, Taylor, Maxwell, Vinsen, and K. Taylor each with two points apiece.