The varsity girls basketball team played their first home game of the 2018-2019 season last night as they welcomed their crosstown rivals, the Fairmont Firebirds, to CHS for an early season NL East showdown. These two teams are expected to compete for the title in a division that is quite simply loaded with talented teams.
After the Elks missed a couple of close shots, had a three pointer go in and out and missed two free throws in the first 45 seconds, the Firebirds scored to take a 2-0 lead. Needless did anyone in the gym know at that time, but that would be the only lead the Firebirds would have the entire night. The Lady Elks went on a 9-0 run from that point, forcing Fairmont to call their first time out along the way. The Firebirds would pull within two at 9-7 before the Elks would close the quarter on a 12-2 run to take a stunning, 21-9, lead into the second quarter. The girls did not let up from there as their relentless full court pressure and high tempo, fast paced offense left the Firebirds searching for answers. A 21-10 second quarter was the result which put the Lady Elks up, 42-19, as the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms to make halftime adjustments. Coming out of the locker room, the Elks hit Fairmont with another 10-0 run to increase their lead to 52-19. The lead would grow as high as 35, 60-25, before Fairmont closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to close the deficit to 60-33 heading to the final eight minutes. The Firebirds scored the first six points of the third quarter to complete a 14-0 run and pull within 60-39 before the Elks rebounded and outscored them the rest of the way, 10-8, to put an exclamation point on an emphatic, 70-47, victory.
It was a total team effort on both ends of the floor. As well as the girls played on the offensive end, the defense is what really shined as they were the aggressors from the opening tip against a team with a tremendous height advantage. Sophomore point guard Amy Velasco dazzled all night and led all scorers with 20 points. Her incredible ball handling and explosive first step to the basket left the Firebirds defense looking for answers all night long. Senior Alexis Hutchison was also huge with 13 points and hit several key buckets early as the Elks made that opening statement. Freshman Cotie McMahon added 11 points on a night where her defense, inside strength and rebounding were key factors in neutralizing Fairmont’s height advantage. Finally, sophomore Kenzie Smith hit two big three point shots and finished with ten points to become the fourth player for the Elks to reach double figures. Everyone who dressed for the game last night played and played very well.
In the first game of the night, the freshman team used a huge second quarter to pull away from the Firebirds en route to a 58-23 win. The JV team was up next and also rolled to a big win, 50-16.
Now 3-0 overall and 2-0 in NL East play, the girls are right back home on Saturday afternoon as they welcome the unbeaten Trotwood Rams to CHS. The JV game tips off at 4:30 PM and will be followed by the varsity at 6:00 PM. Prior to those two games, the 7th and 8th grade teams have their annual black and gold games here at CHS as well. The 7th grade game tips off at 1:00 and will be followed by the 8th grade game at approximately 2:30.