Chelsea was looking to get back on a winning streak after their second loss of the season against highly ranked Ann Arbor Huron. But to do that they would face off against a very tough Adrian Lenawee Christian team. The Cougars, who play much better than their record reflects, were looking to get back on the winning track too after a tough loss to Consortium College Prep.
The Cougars struck first with Sophomore Trey Helinski hitting a trey. But Bulldog Senior Trevor Kingsley struck back with a 3 of his own. After that scoring was limited as both teams played a very physical, tight game. The Cougars took a 9-7 lead in the second period. The Cougars at one point were pulling away but Chelsea Head Coach Josh Tropea made great use of his substitutes as he kept fresh players rotating in and out to match up against the much taller Cougars. And his strategy worked as Junor Guard Ryan Mitchell had a great second period as he had three steals, one he took the length of the court. But it was Junior Forward Brady Friss who hit a big three to put Chelsea up 20-17 at the half.
After the half it was more of the same, tough defense and points were hard to come by for either team. The Cougars Senior Nigerian duo of Collins & Maxwell, (their only names given) standing at 6’7″ and 6’6″ respectively, kept the Cougars in the game with their big underneath game, forcing the Bulldogs at many times to foul.
But the Bulldogs were not intimidated at all and would not give up forcing the Cougars to try to cover their outside shots as Senior Ethan French hit a huge three-point basket to put the Bulldogs up by 4 going into the final frame.
The Cougars took advantage at the start of the 4th of a big three by Helinski and some big shots by Maxwell to take the lead early on. But Chelsea’s Coach Tropea took advantage of his deeper bench and rested players and made wise use of his timeouts. With the game tied at the 3:55 mark Mitchell hit a huge 30 foot three pointer and then off a Noah Cooper steal and assist it was Mitchell again sinking another big three to put the Bulldogs up by 1 and it was from that point on the Bulldogs never trailed in the game again. In the closing minutes of the game Kingsley and French hit several clutch free throws to secure the Bulldogs victory, 54-44.
Mitchell finished with 15 points and 3 steals on the night, Kingsley had 10 and led all Bulldogs with 5 rebounds. Lenawee Christian was led by Maxwell with 24 points and Helinski with 12. The Bulldogs are 10-2 on the season and travel to Ann Arbor Skyline Friday.