The Chester High School Lady Jackets basketball team traveled to Red Bud Dec. 27-30 to compete in the 2021 Red Bud Girls Christmas Tournament. The girls, who have played short-handed the entire 2021 season, had a rough way to go at Red Bud from the first day.
On Monday, Dec. 27, Chester was supposed to open the tournament against Waterloo but had to forfeit due to a lack of players. One player was still on a Christmas vacation trip and another was out on COVID protocol, so coach Clint Cowan and his remaining five players had to forfeit the first of what was supposed to be five games in four days.
On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the Jackets played Roxana at 2 p.m., losing a close one by just one point, 46-45 in overtime. They returned to play hosts Red Bud for the nightcap at 8 p.m. and lost 49-31.
On Wednesday, Dec. 29, Chester got a much-needed win over East Alton-Wood River, 48-29. CHS closed out the tournament Thursday, Dec. 30, against Belleville Althoff, falling to the Lady Crusaders, 49-27, to end a very disappointing week of basketball.
Roxana 46, Chester 45 (OT)
Chester rebounded from a very disappointing Monday evening forfeit with a hard-fought game Tuesday afternoon against the Roxana Lady Shells. The Jackets led 12-9 after the first quarter behind the scoring of Alyssa Seymour (4), Riley Conley (4), Jazzi Merideth (2) and Emma Diskey (2).
CHS returned in the second period with an impressive 8 minutes as Seymour knocked down three baskets and Merideth contributed one bucket to help Chester outscore Roxana 8-3 in the second quarter to lead 20-12 at halftime.
The Shells came alive in the second half to outscore the Jackets 18-9 in the third quarter and take a 1-point, 30-29 lead after three quarters of action. During that stretch, Chester's Conley drained a 3-pointer and knocked down a free throw to pace Chester.
Roxanna was led by Kinsley Mouser, who drained a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of traditional 2-pointers to pace the Shells with 10 of their 8 points.
Trailing by just 1 point in the fourth quarter, Chester outscored Roxana 7-6 to tie the game, 36-36, at the end of regulation and send the game into overtime.
In that final stretch, Chester's Seymour saved the day and scored 6 of Chester's 7 points with two baskets and 2-of-5 free throws. Roxana was led, once again, by Mouser, who made back-to-back field goals for 4 of the Shells' 6 points.
The overtime period was hard-fought, exciting and heartbreaking. The Lady Jackets fell short by 1 point as Roxana ended the overtime period up 1, outscoring the Jackets 10-9 to win 46-45.
In the overtime, Seymour made all four of her free-throw attempts to pace Chester with 4 points. Conley drained her second trey of the afternoon and Camrynn Howie hit a basket for Chester's 9 points.
The Lady Jackets sent Roxana to the free-throw line ten times in the overtime. The Lady Shells connected for 7-of-10 to end the game, along with a 3-pointer by senior Lexi Ryan to edge Chester as the final buzzer sounded.
In the loss, Chester was led by Seymour, who led all scorers on either team with 24 points. Freshman Conley also scored in double figures with 11 points, followed by Merideth (5), Howie (3), and Diskey (2). For the game, CHS made 14 2-pointers and just two 3-pointers. They were 11-of-26 from the free-throw line (42%).
Roxana was paced by sophomore Mouser, who scored 16 points, followed by Lexi Ryan (12), Laynle Gehrs (8), Alyssa Luck (6), and Abby Gehrs (4). For the game, the Shells hit 12 2-pointers and four 3-pointers. They were 10-of-17 from the charity stripe (59%).
With the loss, and forfeit the night before, Chester dropped to an overall record of 6-8 and 0-2 in the tournament.
Red Bud 49, Chester 31
The Lady Jackets faced the tournament host Lady Musketeers in the nightcap game. Red Bud was a solid team with a roster of 11 players, 4 seniors, 2 juniors and 5 sophomores. Add to that fact, Chester had already played a hard-fought, overtime game at 2 p.m., and it was all downhill for the Jackets.
Red Bud exploded to a 22-6 first-quarter lead to set the tone. In the second quarter, the Lady Jackets outscored the Musketeers 9-6 but trailed by 13 points, 28-15, at halftime. After the popcorn break, the Jackets stayed with the Musketeers, with Red Bud edging out Chester 10-9 to lead 38-23 after three quarters.
Facing a 15-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, Chester held the Musketeers to only 11 points but added only 8 points to their total, to end the game down 49-31 at the buzzer. The first quarter proved devastating for Chester as they could not recover the 17-point deficit.
In the loss, CHS was led by Conley and Howie, who scored 9 points apiece. Merideth added 8 points and Seymour contributed 5 to complete Chester's 31 points. The Jackets made seven 2-pointers and five 3-pointers for the night as Conley hit three treys and Merideth hit two. CHS was 2-of-6 at the line (33%).
Red Bud was paced by Hannah Sievers, who scored 19 points, followed by Addi Dilley and Lyla Hess with 7 points apiece, Chloe Wild (6), Alexis Koester and Sam Kolweier with 3 points apiece, and Madison Pensoneau and Madison Falkenhain with 2 points apiece.
The Lady Musketeers hit 14 2-pointers and six 3-pointers in the win and were 3-of-4 from the free-throw line (75%).
With the loss the Lady Jackets fell to 6-9 for the season and 0-3 in the Red Bud Tournament.
Chester 48, East Alton-Wood River 29
Wednesday was a new day for the Jackets, and they came to play the East Alton-Wood River Lady Oilers. CHS ran out to a 16-5 early lead in the first quarter behind the scoring of Seymour, who scored 6 points on back-to-back field goals and 2-of-3 free throws.
Howie added 4 points with a field goal and perfect 2-for-2 free-throw shooting. Conley contributed 3 points with a basket and a free throw, and Merideth threw in a shot for 2 points. Kailyn Absher rounded out the roaring first quarter with a free throw.
The Jackets continued their offensive domination in the second period, outscoring the Oilers 8-6 to take a 24-11 lead into the locker room at halftime. The lead could have been much larger as Chester went to the free-throw line 16 times in the first half but only connected for seven of those free shots (43%).
After halftime the Jackets went back to work with Seymour pacing the team once again with 11 points with five field goals and a free throw. Howie added 3 more points to give Chester 14.
The Oilers were much-improved in the third quarter, scoring 11 points behind Emily Johnson's three field goals for 6 points. Milla LeGette added 3 points and Makayla Quigley hit a basket to round out the Oilers' 11-point effort. Chester led 38-22 after three quarters of play.
Down the stretch CHS outscored EAWR 10-7 to win the game 48-29. In that stretch, Howie was 4-4 at the free-throw line. Seymour was 3-for-4 at the line and Diskey was perfect with 2-for-2 free throw shooting. Kailyn Absher was the only Jacket to hit a basket in the fourth quarter to round out the 10-point effort.
In the win Seymour led the Lady Jackets with 21 points. Howie made it into the score book with 11 points to score in double figures. Other offensive contributors included Conley and Kailyn Absher with 6 points apiece, and Merideth and Diskey with 2 points apiece.
For the game Chester made 14 2-pointers and just one 3-pointer. At the free-throw line Chester was 17-for-33 (51%). With the win, the Lady Jackets improved to 7-9 for the season and 1-3 in the Red Bud Tournament.
East Alton-Wood River was led by LeGette (11), followed by Quigley (9), Emily Johnson (7), and Jordan Ealey (2). The Oilers hit 11 2-pointers and one 3-pointer. For the game EAWR went to the free-throw line 13 times and made just four shots (31%).
Belleville Althoff 49, Chester 27
To close out the tournament Chester hosted Belleville Althoff. A weak first quarter doomed the Lady Jackets as the Lady Crusaders outscored CHS 12-1 in the opening period. A Merideth free throw was Chester's only score of the frame. The Crusaders' Isabella Peterson led the charge for Althoff with 9 points on three 2-pointers and a trey.
The second quarter was very competitive with the Lady Jackets keeping pace with the Lady Crusaders. Althoff did outscore CHS 14-12, but the Jackets played much better once they got warmed up in the second period.
Kailyn Absher hit two field goals and made both of her free-throw attempts to pace Chester with 6 points. Seymour made a field goal and 2-of-4 free throws for 4 points while Howie got in the books with a field goal for 2 points.
The Lady Crusaders were led by Alaina Lester, who scored 6 points on three field goals. Addison Leib hit a trey and Jenna Roper added 5 points. At halftime, Althoff led the Jackets by 13 points, 26-13.
In the second half, the Crusaders outscored Chester 10-6 in the third quarter to lead 36-19 and 13-8 in the fourth quarter to win the game, 49-27. Seymour led the Jackets with 9 points, followed by Kailyn Absher (8), Howie (6), Conley (3), and Merideth (1).
The Jackets made six 2-pointers and two treys for the day. From the free-throw line Chester was 9-of-15 (60%). With the loss the Lady Jackets fell to an overall record of 7-10 and ended the tournament with one win, a forfeit, and three losses.
Althoff was paced by two players in double figures. Isabella Peterson scored 20 points and Alaina Lester scored 18 points. Other contributors included Jenna Roper and Addison Leib with 5 points apiece and Emilee Travnicek with 1 point. The Crusaders made 20 traditional 2-pointers, two 3-pointers and 3-of-6 free throws (50%).