The Chester High School Lady Jackets basketball team had a good outing last week at the Gibault Catholic High School Candy Cane Classic girls basketball tournament.
After a slow start with a 52-36 loss to the host Gibault Lady Hawks, Chester went on to win the consolation side of the tournament bracket with back-to-back wins over Metro-East Lutheran High School, 48-37, and the Valmeyer Lady Pirates, 56-23.
Gibault 52, Chester 36
Just two weeks before on Nov. 30, Chester devastated the Lady Hawks by 20 points, 72-52, at home. In the opening round of the Candy Cane Classic Tuesday, Dec. 14, the tables were turned as the host Lady Hawks knocked the Lady Jackets out of the winner's bracket with a 16-point trouncing, 52-36.
Coach Clint Cowan said, "We had a really off night against Gibault. We couldn't hit anything. Our girls were as cold as ice. Some times that just happens, and we had a hard time getting started in the first round game."
Gibault had a 17-10 lead after one quarter of play. The second period was a tie, with both teams scoring 9-9, but the Lady Hawks enjoyed a nice 26-19, 7-point lead at halftime.
During that first half, Chester was carried by senior Alyssa Seymour, who scored 13 of Chester's 19 points. Camrynn Howie scored 4 points and Kailyn Absher added two points during the opening half.
Things were a bit more competitive in the third quarter, but Gibault still outscored CHS, 12-10, to lead 38-29 after three frames. Seymour continued to carry the Jackets after halftime, scoring 6 of Chester's 10 points. Jazzi Merideth was the only other Lady Jacket to score in the third quarter with 4 points on two field goals.
Down the stretch, the Lady Jackets failed to get the ball rolling and allowed Gibault to continue to control the game, outscoring CHS by double figures, 14-7, to win 52-36. Once again, Seymour was the only Chester player to create any major offense, adding 5 of Chester's 7 points in the final period.
In the loss, Seymour led all scorers with 24 points. Seymour also came into the game just 13 rebounds away from breaking Chester's Lady Jacket record for career rebounds. She continued her chain of double-double games by scoring 24 points and grabbing 22 rebounds to set the new career rebound record for CHS.
Other Lady Jacket scorers included Camrynn Howie (6), Jazzi Merideth (4) and Kailyn Absher (2). For the night, the Jackets hit only 10 field goals and did not score even one 3-pointer. At the free-throw line the Jackets were respectable, making 8 of 10 free shots (80%).
With the loss, Chester moved into the consolation bracket.
Chester 48, Metro- East Lutheran 37
The Jackets played Metro-East Lutheran in the first game of the consolation championship bracket Thursday, Dec. 16. The first half was competitive, with CHS leading 13-11 after one quarter of play and 26-24 at halftime.
In the first half, Seymour stayed hot from her opening game, scoring 10 of Chester's 26 first-half points. Kailyn Absher recovered from her slow night against Gibault and scored 8 of Chester's 26 first-half points. Howie and Merideth added 4 points apiece to round out Chester's offense.
After the halftime break the Jackets came back pumped and ready to finish the game with a 14-point effort. Freshman Riley Conley led the attack as she drained a 3-pointer and a traditional 2-point field goal and sank 3-of-4 free throws for eight points. Seymour, Howie, and Merideth added a basket apiece to complete the 14-point spree.
Metro-East was held by Chester to just 7 points as the Lady Jackets increased their lead to 9, 40-31, after three periods of action.
Down the stretch Chester outscored Metro-East Lutheran 8-6 to seal the deal with a comfortable 9-point win, 48-37, behind the offensive efforts of Seymour. She scored 6 of 8 Chester points to complete the fourth quarter.
In the win, Seymour paced Chester with 18 points, followed by Kailyn Absher with 10 points. Other contributors were Conley (8), and Camryn Howie and Jazzi Merideth who each added 6 points.
Chester 56, Valmeyer 23
On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Lady Yellowjackets took on the Lady Pirates from Valmeyer for the title of consolation champions.
Chester roared out of the gate with a 20-10 lead in the first quarter behind stellar offensive efforts of Kailyn Absher and Howie. In the first frame Howie scored 10 points on a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of two-pointers while Absher scored 8 points.
Chester didn't let up in the second period as the Jackets outscored the Pirates 13-6 to lead 33-16 at halftime. Merideth led Chester in the second quarter with three field goals for 6 points. Seymour, Kailyn Absher, and Emma Diskey each made field goals, and Diskey drained a free throw to complete Chester's 13-point run.
The Lady Jackets used a 10-7 run to open the second half and extend their lead to 10 points, 33-23 after three quarters of play. Conley got into the action in the third period and scored 3 points. Seymour showed her offensive prowess and made back-to-back baskets, and Kailyn Absher rounded out the effort with a field goal.
Down the stretch to close the game, the Jackets shut out Valmeyer with a 13-0 run to end the game and seal the win, 56-23. With the win, the Chester Lady Jackets won the title of Consolation Champions of the 2021 Gibault Candy Classic.
In the fourth quarter, Howie, Kailyn Absher and Seymour completed the task, scoring 7 points, 4 points and 2 points respectively. Valmeyer was held scoreless.
In the win, Chester had three players score in double figures including Camrynn Howie (17), Kailyn Absher (16), and Alyssa Seymour (10). Other contributors were Merideth (6), Conley (4), and Diskey (3).
Coach Cowan said, "Kailyn Absher had a nice double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Alyssa Seymour had her double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Riley Conley had a good game with four points and seven rebounds. Camrynn Howie led the team in assists with five."
"We got off to a slow start but turned up our defense and settled down on offense to get the job done," said Coach Cowan. "I am so proud of these girls for winning the Consolation Championship. It's been a challenging week, but these girls came out and played great. I wouldn't trade this group of girls for anything.
"Our girls work hard and are always ready for a challenge. I'm extremely happy that we won 2 out of 3 games at the tournament and are 6-6 heading into Christmas!"
Alyssa Seymour was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Next up for the Lady Jackets will be a trip to the Red Bud Christmas Tournament Monday, Dec. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 30.