CHS Lady Jackets get votes in Associated Press Top-10 Poll

By Jim Beers, Contributing Writer

   CHESTER — CHS Head Coach Clint Cowan is very proud of his Chester High School Lady Yellow Jacket Basketball Team.  Thursday January 26 it was announced that the Lady Jackets received votes in the Associated Press Top-10 Poll.

Cowan said, “This week we got 3 votes in the January 26 Associated Press Top-10 Girls 2A Basketball Poll.  It’s because of all of the hard work that the girls have been putting in.  They are getting noticed.  We are building something special with this program and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.”

Okawville, a sister school member of the Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division, sat atop the Top-10 Class 1A rankings. No other local school made it to the Top-10 in Class 1A.  In Class 2A, Carterville, of the River-to-River Mississippi Division was ranked 6th. 

They were the only local school to land in the Class 2A Top-10.

In the Class 2A Poll, Freeburg (4), Chester (3), and Benton (1) received votes for the Top-10.  In the Class 1A Poll, Christopher (5), and Carlyle (4) received votes.

As of Monday January 24 the standings in the Cahokia Conference Illinois Division stood as follows: Okawville, Carlyle, Wesclin, Chester, Sparta, and Red Bud.

Okawville, 64-Chester-40

The Lady Jackets had only one game in Week 9. 

Chester was supposed to travel to Trico Monday January 24 to challenge the Lady Pioneers, but that game had to be postponed due to COVID protocol issues at Trico.

The other game of the week was Thursday January 27 when the Lady Jackets hosted the No. 1 team in the State of Illinois in Class 1A, the Okawville Lady Rockets.

Chester’s Alyssa Seymour, a senior Lady YellowJacket, led the team in scoring against the No. 1 team in Class 1A, Okawville, with 20 points.  She also grabbed 8 rebounds.  For the night She was 6-for-8 from the free throw line (75%) and she made seven baskets for an additional 14 points.  Jim Beers Photo

The game tipped off at 6:00 p.m. with a very good crowd on hand to see the Lady Jackets take on the No. 1 Lady Rockets.

Okawville fired their jets to the tune of 16-6 in the first quarter behind the hot hand of Kraus who scored nine of Okawville’s 16 points on a trey and three two-pointers.  Chester’s only points came from senior Alyssa Seymour who was perfect at the free throw line making 4-of-4 and she also made a layup.         

 Camrynn Howie (3), a junior, Lady Jackets point guard, scored six points in the game against Okawville Thursday January 27.  Okawville is currently ranked atop the Class 1A Associated Press Top-10 Poll.  She also dished out four assists which brings her just three assists away from setting a new Chester High School Single Season Lady Jacket Assist Record.  Jim Beers Photo

The Lady Jackets began to sting the Lady Rockets in the second quarter as Alyssa Seymour remained hot under the basket banging in eight points on four field goals and another point on a free throw.  In this frame, junior Camryn Howie drained a 3-pointer and senior Kailyn Absher hit a field goal to give Chester 12 points.

The Rockets edged Chester in the second quarter with 15 points to outscore the Jackets 15-12.  In that frame, Rhodes paced the Rockets with eight points with three field goals and 2-for-2 shooting at the line.  Okawville led Chester by 13 points at halftime, 31-18.

It was still a close game coming out of the halftime break, but the Rockets used their power boosters in the third quarter to outscore Chester, 23-9.  That proved to be a knock-out blow to the Lady Jackets.

In that period Okawville was led once again by Kraus who scored another nine points on three two-pointers and a three-pointer.  Four other Lady Rockets added to the 23-point effort including Tebbe (5), Rhodes (4), Obermeier (3), and Luechtefeld (2).

The Jackets were still respectable with scoring from five-of-their-seven players including Camryn Howie, Riley Conley, Jazzi Merideth, and Emma Diskey who each scored two points and Alyssa Seymour who made 1-of-2 free throws.  Okawville extended their lead to 27 points, 54-27 after three quarters of play.

Down the stretch Chester outscored Okawville, 13-10, in the fourth quarter, but it was too little-too-late. Chester senior Kailyn Absher came alive in the final quarter scoring three times for two points each.  Alyssa Seymour added four points and Jazzi Merideth drained a three ball.

The Rockets eventually put in some of their bench players in the final minutes of the game and Wienstroer (2), Genuy (2), Frederking (2), and Heckert (2) got their names in the books with two points apiece to add to Rennegarbe’s two points to end the game with a 64-40 win. 

Coach Cowan said, “We played a lot better than the scores indicated!  Okawville is No. 1 in Class 1A and it showed. They are a very well-coached team and they are a class act.  I wish them nothing but success for the remainder of the season.”

Chester was led in scoring by Alyssa Seymour who scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Fellow senior teammate Kailyn Absher scored six points and led the team on the boards with 14 rebounds.

Other offensive contributors included Camryn Howie and Jazzi Merideth who each added five points apiece.  Emma Diskey and Rylie Conley each scored two points apiece.

In addition to Camryn Howie’s five points, she also dished out four assists.  She now   trails the CHS Single Season Record by just three assists. 

In the loss, the Lady Jackets made 13 two-pointers and two three-pointers.  From the free throw line the girls shot 73 percent making 8-of-11 shots.

All but one Okawville player scored for the Lady Rockets in the 64-40 win including Kraus (23), Rhodes (13), Rennegarbe (8), Tebbe (5), Wienstroer (4), Obermeier (3), and Genuy, Luechtefeld, and Frederking with two points apiece.

The Rockets hit 23 field goals in the win along with four three-pointers.  From the line Okawville was 6-of-9 (67%).

The loss drops Chester to an overall record of 11-13 overall and 2-5 in the Cahokia Conference. 

Coach Cowan said, “Tonight we just couldn’t handle their press.  Our issues were turnovers.  That is what eventually got us.  We fought hard and played well, but they were just too tough for us to handle.”

“I’m so proud of this team and what they have done this season. I hate that it is all coming to an end, but I know that we are going to fight and play hard until the end.  These girls don’t know the meaning of the word quit and that’s what I love about them!”

Chester will play four games January 31 through February 5 with two home games and two road trips. 

According to Clint Cowan, CHS Head Lady Jacket Coach
TUESDAY NIGHT the Lady Jackets will now host RED BUD in a Cahokia Conference Match-Up (The Thursday night game with Red Bud was moved to Tuesday due to the prediction of bad weather later this week)
They were scheduled to host Waterloo in a NON-CONFERENCS game Tuesday.

That game may not be rescheduled.

The girls have a re-scheduled game at Trico at 6 p.m. Monday February 7th