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CHS girls beat Sparta, gets demolished by Okawville

  • Chester's Kailyn Absher (25) led the Lady Jackets in the win against Sparta with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.  Chester won 57-55 for its first Cahokia Conference win.

    Chester's Kailyn Absher (25) led the Lady Jackets in the win against Sparta with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Chester won 57-55 for its first Cahokia Conference win.
    Jim Beers Photo

 
BY JIM BEERS
Contributing Writer
updated: 12/15/2021 8:47 AM

The Chester High School Lady Jackets basketball team had a tale of two outcomes last week with one great win and one 46- point loss.

CHS traveled to Sparta Monday, Dec. 6, for their third Cahokia Conference game of the year and came home with a 57-55 victory. Thursday, Dec. 9, the ladies hit the road again, this time to Okawville, where they faced an excellent Lady Rockets team that sent them home with a 46-point, 83-37 loss.

Chester 57, Sparta 55

On Monday the girls from Popeye town played well and fought hard to escape Sparta with their first Cahokia Conference Illinois Division win since moving to the new venue this fall.

The first quarter was a knock-down-drag-out with the Jackets coming out of the first eight minutes with a 14-13 advantage. In the frame Kailyn Absher was hot with three baskets and Alyssa Seymour made 3-of-5 free throws and a basket to set the tone. Camrynn Howie added a 3-pointer to top off a good start.

Sparta's Rheinecker led the Lady Bulldogs with 6 points and Coonrod (3), Braun (2), and Belle Ware (2) added offensive support.

The second quarter was a slight turnaround with Sparta outscoring Chester 18-16 to slip by the Lady Jackets 31-30 at halftime.

The second quarter saw six Lady Jackets contribute to the offense with Jazzi Merideth leading the charge. Merideth hit a field goal and made 3-of-4 free throws for 5 points. Kailyn Absher added 5 points, Hanna Colvis, and Maleia Absher added 2 points apiece and Seymour and Emma Diskey each made free throws to round out the Chester offense.

Sparta's Braun led the Bulldog attack with four field goals and perfect free throw 2-for-2 shooting. Belle Ware threw in a pair of field goals and Rheinecker and S. Hamilton each sank shots, giving the Dawgs their 18 points. Sparta managed a slim, 1-point lead at the half, 31-30.

After the popcorn break, Chester came back with an 11-9 third quarter advantage to retake the lead, 41-40. In that attack Merideth hit a trey, Kailyn Absher added 4 points on a field goal and perfect 2-for-2 shooting at the free-throw line, and Seymour and Howie each knocked down field goals.

Braun continued to pace the Lady Bulldogs with 5 points, and Rheinecker and Belle Ware each hit 2-pointers to end the third quarter.

It was anyone's game going into the final stretch. A back-and-forth battle led to an eventual Chester, 57-55 win. Chester freshman Rylie Conley kept the Lady Jackets alive with an 8-point effort. Junior Maleia Absher added 4 points with a field goal and perfect 2-for-2 free throw shooting, and sophomore Diskey hit a bucket. Seymour was perfect at the line with back-to-back free throws.

Belle Ware paced Sparta's race to the finish with three field goals for 6 points. Braun added a pair of baskets, and Rheinecker contributed a field goal and 1-of-2 free throws.

Coonrod rounded out the quarter with a basket, but the Lady Bulldogs fell short by 2 points at the buzzer.

In the close win, Chester was led by two players who scored in double figures. Kailyn Absher led the team with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double and Seymour scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Conley came alive in the 4th quarter and scored 8 points. She also grabbed 7 rebounds. Other offensive contributors included Merideth (8), Maleia Absher (6), Howie (5 points and 4 assists), Diskey (3) and Hanna Colvis (2).

The Lady Bulldogs were paced by three players in double figures: Braun (21), Belle Ware (14), and Rheinecker (13). Rounding out the Sparta offensive were Coonrod (5) and S. Hamilton (2). With the win, Chester improved to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the Cahokia Conference.

"We didn't play our best game tonight, but we got the win and I'm happy about that. We got into foul trouble early but the girls came through," said Coach Clint Cowan.

"We had difficulty getting into our offense the way I wanted, but were able to get the ball inside and draw some contact. We got to the line 29 times and made 18 free throws (62%). This group finds a way to win.

"When someone goes down hurt or gets into foul trouble, this group has that 'next girl up' mentality. Tonight was a complete team effort and team won! We have won three of our last four games and I couldn't be any more proud of these girls."

Okawville 83, Chester 37

Devastating first and third quarters doomed the Lady Jackets at Okawville Thursday, Dec. 9. The Lady Rockets outscored Chester 34-12 in the opening quarter and 33-5 to open the second half.

The second quarter was competitive with the Rockets outscoring 15-14, and in the final stretch Chester outscoring Okawville 6-1. But the Rockets were too much for the Lady Jackets to handle and lost 83-37.

In the loss the Lady Jackets had two players in double figures with Howie scoring 13 points and Seymour adding 10 points. After that, Kailyn Absher contributed (8), Conley (3), Merideth (2), and Colvis (1).

The Jackets hit 11 2-pointers and four 3-pointers. At the line, CHS hit 3-of-4 free throws (75%).

Okawville had four players in double figures: Wienstrer (21), Kraus (15), Rhodes (15), and Rennegarbe (10). Other contributors were Tebbe (6), Luechtefeld (5), Obermeier (4), King (4), Long (2), and Bening (1).

The Lady Rockets hit 23 2-pointers and nine 3-pointers. They made 10-of-18 free throws (56%).

With the loss, the Jackets dropped to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference. This week the Lady Jackets will play in the 2021 Candy Cane Classic girls' basketball tournament at Gibault.