CCHS girls outlast Helena, varsity boys not so lucky

Published 5:08 pm Monday, December 4, 2017

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
The Helena Huskies invaded the campus of Chilton County High School on Dec. 1 and came away with a split decision, as the Tigers girls varsity pulled off a hard fought 57-55 victory, while the Huskies picked up the win in varsity boys action, 54-32.

It was a tail of two halves in varsity girls action as the Tigers set the tone in the early going of the first period with Kiara Steele leading the way.

Brandis Lang later swung the lead in favor of the Huskies with a two-point basket, but was countered by a three from Morgan Dennis that made it a 9-7 lead in favor of the Tigers.

With 1:02 remaining in the period, a basket from Lexis Blackman kicked off a 6-0 Chilton County run that gave the Tigers an 18-9 lead at the end of the first.

A quick 4-0 run to start the second quarter put the Tigers out in front by 13, but the run was brought to an end on a three from Lang that cut the lead to 10 and started a 9-0 Huskies run that made the score 22-18 in favor of Chilton County.

The lead was cut to three by another three-pointer from Lang, but baskets from Adi Argent and Steele saw the first half end with the Tigers leading 31-25.

Momentum swung the way of Helena during the third period, as Montana Harris started the half with a two-point basket for the Huskies, while a basket from Jordan Jones and another from Lang tied the game at 31.

Kiara Steele of CCHS looks to score around the basket. She finished with a monster night and a double-double of 25 points and 25 rebounds. (Photos by Brandon Sumrall/Special)

The lead changed hands on multiple occasions during the closing minutes of the third period, with the Huskies outscoring the Tigers 7-2 during the final minute and a half.

Helena ended the period with a 44-39 lead.

It was the Tigers that came out firing to start the fourth and final period, as a basket from Argent led an 8-2 run that gave Chilton County a one-point lead.

With neither team able to pull away, the score moved through a 51-all tie before a basket from White started a 6-0 run by the Tigers that put the home team up 57-51. The game was far from over however, as the Huskies answered with a run of their own.

However, the Helena run came up just short as the Tigers hung on for the victory.

For Steele it was most certainly a night to remember, as the Chilton County junior set career highs in both points and rebounds with 25 apiece.

“This was a huge win for our team tonight,” Steele said. “We had to overcome a lot of adversity tonight and I did my best to help. I knew my team needed me to be aggressive and that’s what I tried to do. We started playing well together and never quit. I am really proud of our team tonight.”

Lang led the Huskies with 22 points and two rebounds, while Jones added 21 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.

In the varsity boys game the task of knocking off an undefeated Huskies team proved to be a bit too much.

Both teams started the game by knocking down a couple of three pointers thanks to Dionte Tolbert and Patrick Rogers for CCHS.

Mondez Jones of CCHS dribbles against a Helena defender.

Justin Cleckler and Deven Tucker made it a four-point Helena lead, but baskets from Joey Cleckler and D’Vontae Williams tied the game at eight.

With the Tigers sporting a one-point lead, a three pointer from Austin Laatsch to beat the buzzer gave the Huskies a 12-10 lead at the end of the first period.

The second period proved to be the Tigers undoing, as the Huskies outscored Chilton County 22-9 over the course of the eight minutes.

The Tigers came out clicking on all cylinders during the early minutes and managed to cut the Helena lead to one at 17-16, however a three from Ben Rose kicked off a 17-3 Huskies run that gave Helena a big 34-19 lead at the end of the first half.

The Tigers fared no better during the third period, as a single basket by Patrick Rogers did little to combat 11 points by the Huskies.

At the end of the third, Helena held a 45-21 lead.

The Tigers ended the game on a 9-2 run, but it was much too late, as the Huskies cruised to the win.

Laatsch led the Huskies with 11 points, two rebounds and a steal.

Rogers led Chilton County with eight points, five rebounds and three steals.