The Yellow Jackets opened the shortened 2021 season with an overtime win at Vienna and beating Cairo before their first loss to Pinckneyville. They split last week, with a win over Trico and a two-point loss to Sesser-Valier. Chester is now 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Black Diamond Conference race.
CHS 66, Vienna 65
The season opener at Vienna on Feb. 5 was a battle royale throughout regulation and overtime. The first quarter featured seven lead changes and two ties. At the end of the first eight minutes Vienna led, 17-13.
The second quarter had one tie at 5:02 when the Eagles knotted the score at 21-21 after which the Jackets got to work. Two lead changes later, Chester managed to maintain the lead the rest of the period to take a 33-28 halftime lead into the Locker room at halftime.
After the break both teams came out strong. The Jackets outscored the Eagles, 13-11, however, to lead 46-39 going into the 4th period. During that stretch Eli Hughes and Matt Korando carried Chester with five points apiece and Jordan Hughes popped a three-pointer to end the quarter.
To start the fourth quarter both teams turned the ball over to kick off a battle that would tie the game at 56-56 to end regulation and force a 4:00 overtime.
In overtime Chester took the lead but Vienna would not go away. With just 25.1 seconds left, Vienna hit a bucket cut the Jackets' lead to one, 63-62. In the final seconds Vienna stole the ball and a chance to win, but the last-second shot missed the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Jordan Hughes led CHS scoring with 20 points, followed by Matt Korando (15), Eli Hughes (12), Jared Landeros (10), Trace Fricke (6) and Gavin Schroeder (2).
Vienna scoring: Meyers (17), Treat (11), Blankenship (11), Acree (10), Hill (9), King (5), and Kerley (2).
CHS 56, Cairo 45
On Feb. 6 Chester played Cairo in the first game of a two-game round robin at Pinckneyville. The Jackets outscored the Pilots every quarter to take the 56-45 win.
CHS led 20-17 after one period behind Jared Landeros who scored nine points on four field goals and a three-pointer. The second quarter was closer, with the Jackets outscoring Cairo, 12-9 to maintain a 32-26 lead at the half.
Chester would remain consistent the rest of the game scoring 12 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
CHS: Jared Landeros (20), Matt Korando (11), Jordan Hughes (10), Eli Hughes (7), Jordan Meredith (3), Gavin Schroeder (2), Nate Heffernan (2) and Trace Fricke (1).
Cairo: Henry and Brown had 17 points apiece, Morse (7), Macking (2) and Moore (2).
Pinckneyville 53, CHS 37
The nightcap of the three-team round robin took basketball fans back to the days of Chester and Pinckneyville facing off in the River-to-River days when both teams battled on a regular basis.
Chester took an early lead and held on for a 11-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and 21-17 at halftime, behind a Trace Fricke three, missed opportunities by the Panthers and back to back Panther turnovers.
Pinckneyville got cooking in the third quarter, outscoring Chester 23-3 and taking a 40-24 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth, both teams scored 13 points, giving the Panthers what looked like an easy victory. It wasn't -- take away the third quarter and the game was a battle from start to finish.
CHS: Jared Landeros (15), Jordan Hughes (9), Matt Korando (4), Nate Heffernan (3), Trace Fricke (3), Gavin Schroeder (2) and Jordan Meredith (1).
Pinckneyville: Scott (20), Eaccino (9), Ascook (9), Seceepansn (8), Restoff (3), Moll (3) and Riggins (1).
Sesser 53, CHS 51
The home opener on Feb. 12 game was competitive and exciting throughout, and CHS led, 11-5. at the quarter break. The Jackets opened the second period on another run of 6-0, but Sesser-Valier answered with a 12-2 run to pull within two points, 19-17 at 4:11. Sesser led, 28-27, at halftime.
Sesser opened the second half with a 5-0 run, but Jordan Meredith answered with a pair of three-pointers. The Devils led 45-40 at the end of three quarters.
In the final period, back and forth action meant the game was tied, 51-51, with 3:15 to play. A defense battle on both sides was finally broken when Sesser's Gunter hit a shot at the 1:12 mark to give the Devils a two-point advantage, 53-51. As time expired, the Red Devils escaped with a two-point, 53-51 win.
CHS: Jared Landeros (15), Jordan Hughes (13), Jordan Meredith (6), Nate Heffernan (6), Eli Hughes (5), Gavin Schroeder (4), and Matt Korando (2).
Sesser-Valier: Garrett Gunter (21), Gabe Gunter (8), Colt Packer (8), Jake Newberry (8), Eli Schoenbaechler (6), and Jaden Lance (2).
CHS 73, Trico 49
On Feb. 13, Chester finally had that easy game, hosting the Trico Pioneers in the third conference game of the early season. The Jackets roared out to a 10-2 run to start the game and led 12-6 halfway through the quarter. In that opening run Jared Landeros popped a trey, Jordan Hughes hit a three, Matt Korando made a basket and Jared Landeros hit a two-pointer. In the final four minutes of the first quarter, Chester's bench got into the action and Gavin Schroeder sank three buckets, Trace Fricke scored two points and Nate Heffernan hit a shot. Chester led, 24-12 after one quarter of play.
The second quarter was a runaway train for the Yellow Jackets as CHS outscored Trico 23-11 to take a 47-23 lead into the locker room at the half.
After the halftime break the Pioneers drew first blood, but Chester extended its lead, 64-35 after three quarters of action. Trico outscored Chester 14-9 down the stretch, but it was too little, too late as the Jackets enjoyed a 29-point lead going into the 4th quarter.
In the closing 8:00, Trico's Vogt hit a pair of three-pointers, two free throws and a two-pointer for ten points. Coleman and Wilson each hit buckets. For Chester, Eli Hughes scored a pair, Chance Mott and Gavin Schroeder each sank buckets and Nate Heffernan connected on the front end of a two-point free throw attempt to round out Chester's eight point quarter.
Jared Landeros (20), Matt Korando (13), Gavin Schroeder (8), Nate Heffernan (7), Jordan Hughes (6), Trace Fricke (6), Jordan Meredith (5), Eli Hughes (4), Chance Mott (2) and Aiden Jany (2).
Trico: Daniel Vogt (23), Ross Coleman (11), Kanon Wilson (10), Logan Cleland (2), Silas Moore (2), and Brady Heins (1).