CARBONDALE — The Chester Lady Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back to beat Carbondale, 58-18, for their ninth win in a row on the second day of the 41st Annual Carbondale Mid-Winter Classic on Tuesday.
“We got out early on them,” said Chester coach Pat Knowles. “Our defense was pretty active, but mainly we shot the shot the ball very well, especially in the first half. We rebounded well, too. We’ve been playing good defense for about a month now. In games we don’t shoot well, our defense has been keeping us in the games.”
Chester (19-4) was led by senior guard Destiny Williams with 19 points, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line and two 3-pointers, junior Reese Chandler with 16 points, including four from beyond the arc, and junior Kendall Williams with 10 points that includes two 3-pointers.
“We knew we were going to have a little bit of competition coming from our game with them last year when we struggled against them, so we knew we had to get out hard and execute everything we worked on in practice, like feed it to our post and get aggressive down low, and that’s what we did,” Destiny Williams said. “We got a lot of points off of free throws and penetrated really well, so we got a lot of shots from the 3.”
Carbondale (5-12) was led by junior guard Faith Halliday with eight points that included two 3-pointers.
“Chester did what they wanted to do on both ends of the floor tonight, and we didn’t make them work very hard to change that,” said Carbondale coach Brad Walker. “I felt like we were very flat, and they came out aggressive, and the score showed that.”
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Williams opened the scoring at the 28 seconds mark with a layup and followed with the first of two 3-pointers she would score in the first quarter. Chandler scored on a one-handed shot from the lane to finish the opening run.
Halliday snapped the run with her first from beyond the arc, but the Lady Yellow Jackets went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 11 points with 18 seconds left, starting with a putback by Chandler and Williams’ other 3-pointer.
Kate Crombar was fouled with 4.8 seconds left and missed her first free throw, but made her second to cut the lead by 10 heading into the second quarter.
Kailyn Absher got Chester going in the second with a layup, and Williams continued by splitting a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 13.
Halliday sank her second 3-pointer 42 seconds later to cut the lead back to 10, but Terriers didn't score the rest of the quarter. Chester closed out on a 16-0 run that included three straight 3-pointers by Chandler and a fourth one by Kendall Williams with 2.4 seconds left to take a 33-7 lead at the half.
Carbondale doubled their first-half output in the third quarter, starting with a putback by Elaiyah Badger to open the second half. Kiara Cobb added a jumper 2:10 later, and Halliday scored on two free throws with 3:46 left. Crombar split a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left to account for the Terriers’ seven points as Chester scored 20 to take a 53-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The tournament resumes on Thursday with Mount Vernon playing Massac County at 5 p.m. followed by Chester and Marion at 6:30 p.m. Afterward, Carbondale will play McCracken County, KY. McCracken features two eighth grade girls, including starting point guard Claire Johnson.