Lady Jackets beat Lady Bulldogs on Senior Night

Chester fans say goodbye to Emma Diskey, Jazzi Merideth, and Camryn Luthy


By Jim Beers

CHESTER – The Chester High School Lady Jackets hosted the Sparta Lady Bulldogs Thursday February 8, 2024 at Colbert Memorial Gymnasium on Rocky Bridges Court. It was Senior Night at CHS and Jacket fans said goodbye to three senior basketball players in a pre-game ceremony.



Chester High School Lady Jacket Basketball seniors were honored Thursday February 8 at Colbert Memorial Gymnasium on “Senior Night 2024”. The event took place prior to the Chester vs Sparta game to end the regular season as well as the Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division schedule. Pictured are Lady Jacket seniors Emma Diskey (35), Camryn Luthy (13), and Jazzi Merideth (12).  With the seniors are their parents and coaches. Pictured (left to right) are Jennifer Coleman. Assistant Coach, David Diskey, Emma’s Father, Emma Diskey (35), Tonya Diskey, Emma’s Mother, Bruce Luthy, Jr., Camryn’s Father, Camryn Luthy (13), Andrea Luthy, Camryn’s Mother, Christy Otten, Jazzi’s Mother, Jazzi Merideth (12), Jordan Merideth, Jazzi’s Brother, and Jeff Mott, CHS Lady Jacket Head Coach. Each player received orange and black balloons, flowers and gift bags. Jim Beers Photo


Head Coach Jeff Mott and Assistant Coach, Jennifer Coleman, joined the non-senior teammates immediately following pre-game warmups as Emma Diskey, Jazzi Merideth, and Camryn Luthy were honored center court in front of Lady Jacket fans.



Emma Diskey (35) is honored on “Senior Night” Thursday February 8 at Chester High School. Emma appears with her mother and father David and Tonya Diskey. Jim Beers Photo



Chester High School senior Jazzi Merideth (12) is honored during “2024 Senior Night” ceremonies Thursday February 8. Jazzi is joined with her mother Ms. Christy Otten and brother Jordan Merideth.  Jim Beers Photo



Camryn Luthy (13) is honored at Chester High School Thursday February 8 during “Senior Night” ceremonies. With Camryn are her parents Bruce Luthy, Jr. and Andrea Luthy. Jim Beers Photo


Emma Diskey and her parents, David and Tonya Diskey; Jazzi Merideth and her mother, Ms. Christy Otten and brother, Jordan Merideth; and Camryn Luthy and her parents, Bruce and Andrea Luthy, were introduced individually then gathered for a group photo with Coach Mott and Coach Coleman.


Each senior was presented with orange and black balloons and flowers, as well as a special gift bag prepared by teammates and coaches.


Following the ceremony, the Chester High School Pep Band played the National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” after which the starting lineups were announced by stadium announcer Mike Lochhead. The game was televised live on the Hudl Television Network with Dr. Jim Beers providing the play-by-play and game commentary.


The evening featured a Varsity game only as Sparta had four players injured and/or ill. The Lady Bulldogs traveled with just seven players and were unable to field a Junior Varsity squad. The Sparta roster featured 5 freshmen, 4 sophomores, and 2 juniors and four did not dress for the game. That left five players on the court and only two reserve players on the bench.


The Lady Jacket roster featured 3 freshmen, 6 sophomores, 1 junior, and three seniors. Both teams were young and loaded with underclassmen. The Lady Jackets have battled very impressively throughout the 2023-24 season with such young and inexperienced team.


The game against Sparta was the final regular-season game of the year as well as the final Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division game of the season.


The Lady Jackets and Lady Bulldogs met three times previously earlier in the season with Chester winning each time. The first meeting was in the first game of the year in Week 1 Tuesday November 14, 2023 at the Sparta Tournament. Chester beat Sparta 61-42 to open the tournament.


The second meeting was two weeks later on Monday December 4, 2023 at Sparta in the first Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division game of the year. The Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Bulldogs, 45-27, to open conference play. It was Game 7 in Week 3 of the season.


The third meeting occurred in Week 6 in Game 19 Saturday January 6, 2024 in the Championship game of the 2024 Lady Jacket Mid-Winter Classic. Chester won that game, 43-36, to take the title and improve to 11-8 overall for the young season.


Sparta improved both defensively and offensively leading up to the final “Senior Night” game in Week 11 of the season in Chester’s 30th game of 2023-24. The first meeting was a 19-point, 61-42, Chester victory. The second game was an 18-point, 45-27, Chester win, and the third contest was just a 7-point, 43-36, Lady Jacket victory. It was a matter of wonder to see if the Jackets could pull off a fourth win over Sparta on “Senior Night”.


The general feeling at Colbert Gym prior to the game was that the Lady Jackets would likely buzz past the Lady Bulldogs, largely due to the situation facing Sparta with very limited personnel. That would turn out to be the furthest thing from the truth!



Chester’s Lexie Mott (33) a sophomore, led all players on either team Thursday February 8 when Chester hosted “Senior Night 2024” at Colbert Memorial Gymnasium.  The Lady  YellowJackets won a very hard-fought, competitive, game against the Sparta Lady Bulldogs by a score of 45-35. In the win, Mott scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 1 assist, and led the team in steals with 3. She only committed 1 turnover.  Jim Beers Photo


Chester opened the game with a 5-0 run in the first 1:30 of the game behind back-to-back baskets by Lexie Mott and a free throw by Jazzi Merideth. Sparta scored its first points at the 5:35 mark on back-to-back free throws by junior Kenzie Pierce. CHS led, 5-2.


CHS answered with a basket by Mott just 25-seconds later.  The Jackets led, 7-2 at the 5:10 mark. The Lady Bulldog’s Kenzie Pierce then followed with a brief 3-point run of her own on a field goal and a free throw. Sparta was within three points, 7-5, at the 3:43 mark.


Chester’s 3-point expert, Rylie Conley, entered the game and drained a trey with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter to boost Chester’s lead to 10-5. With just 10.4 seconds left to play, Sparta’s Maria Sangurima popped a 3-pointer. Sparta came within 2-points at the buzzer, 10-8. 


The second quarter was a wild and frenzied affair with Sparta outscoring Chester, 15-10. This frame featured 5 lead changes and 3 ties as the Lady Bulldogs bit the Lady Jackets rather significantly to take a three point lead by halftime.



Midway through the first half of the 2024 “Senior NIght” game at Chester High School, all three CHS senior players are lined up in a row guarding the Sparta Lady Bulldogs. Pictured are Emma Diskey (35), Jazzi Merideth (12) and Camryn Luthy (13), all of which were playing their final regular-season game at Chester High School’s Colbert Memorial Gymnasium  on Rocky Bridges Court. The Lady Jackets played a hard-fought, extremely competitive game that took until the final minutes of the fourth quarter to determine the winner. The Lady Jackets won, 45-35, in front of a supportive crowd of Lady Jacket fans! Jim Beers Photo


The quarter began Chester’s Lexi Mott hitting a bucket to extend the CHS lead to 4 points, 12-8. Sparta answered with a 5-0 run over the next two minutes to take a brief, 13-12 lead. During this run, Kenzie Pierce scored 3 points on a field goal and free throw after being fouled on the play. A minute later, Pierce sank a second basket to take a slim, 13-12 lead at the 5:26 mark.


During the next three minutes of the second quarter, Chester would tie the game three times (13-13 at 4:15), (14-14 at 3:14), and 16-16 at 2:13). In that stretch, Chester’s Lexie Mott and Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce would both hit another field goal and a free throw apiece at which point the score was tied at 16-16 with 2:13 remaining in the first half.


In the final 2:13, there would still be two lead changes. Lexie Mott had an opportunity to re-take the Chester lead after Sparta turned the ball over and Mott was fouled in the act of shooting. Uncharacteristically, however, Mott missed both ends of the free throw opportunity. The score remained tied, 16-16, with two minutes to play.



Emma Diskey (35) guards Sparta’s Serenity Richardson (4) in the “Senior Night” game Thursday February 8 at Chester High School. The Lady Jackets beat Sparta, 45-35, to improve to 2-8 in the Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division standings. In the win, Emma scored 3 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 1 assist, and recoded 1 steal. Jim Beers Photo


Just 14-seconds later, Chester’s Emma Diskey connected on back-to-back free throws to get the lead back for the Lady Jackets, 18-16, with 1:59 to play in the half. The see-saw was still not finished, however, as there was much more excitement remaining in the final minute of the half.


With 1:07 to play, Sparta re-took the lead, 19-18, when Kenzie Pierce was featured in yet another scene in the “Kenzie Piece Show” as she hit a field goal, was fouled and made her bonus free throw. Just when the dust settled, Sparta’s Maris Sangurima, a freshman, stepped up a drained a huge 3-pointer to extend the Bulldog’s lead to 22-18 with .18 to play in the second quarter.


The show was still not over, however, as Chester’s Lexi Mott returned the favor with 1.2-seconds to play by scoring a basket to bring Chester back within two points, 22-20.


To close out the wild-and-crazy first half, Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce was not to be outdone. In the final second of the half, she was fouled and made one free throw to give Sparta momentum and a 3-point lead going into the locker room, 23-20, at halftime.


The third quarter was mostly Chester’s show as Camryn Luthy, (2), Jesse Stumpe (2), Lillian Diskey (3), Lexie Mott (2) and Aubrey Colvis (2) chipped in to create an 11-2 run to re-take a Lady Jackets lead, 31-25.



Lady Jacket Camryn Luthy (13) guards Sparta’s key player, Kenzie Pierce (5) a junior point guard who was the Lady Bulldog’s top scorer.  It was “Senior NIght” 2024 and the Jackets won, 45-35, over the Lady Dawgs. Jim Beers Photo


Luthy kicked off the period with a basket right out of the gate at the 7:25 mark. Chester trailed by one point, 23-22. The next 3:05 was a stalemate with neither team scoring, but Chester’s Jesse Stumpe, a sophomore, hit a field goal to break the drought and retake to lead for CHS, 24-23, at the 4:53 mark. Another 2:32 passed without a score from either team, however, Lady Jacket, Lillian Diskey came through with a trey to extend Chester’s lead to 27-23 with 2:21 left to play in the third quarter.


Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce answered 10-seconds later with a single free throw at 2:11. CHS led, 27-24. Lexie Mott came back with a bucket to extend Chester’s lead to 29-24.


With 1:27 remaining in the period, Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce scored the Bulldog’s only other point of the quarter on a made free throw.  Chester’s Aubrey Colvis, a freshman, knocked down a final shot with .50 to play to close out the quarter and give Chester a 31-25, six-point lead heading into the final stretch.


Just when everyone thought the game might be in Chester’s control, the fourth quarter brought another wild-and-crazy eight minutes with both teams refusing to give in.  The result was a 14-10 scoring spree that favored Chester!


After 37-seconds after the 4th Quarter began, Chester’s Jessie Stumpe knocked down a shot to give CHS a 33-25 lead. Lexie Mott followed with a basket and CHS led, 35-25, at the 6:40 mark. It was Chester’s biggest lead of the game.


Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce put an end to the Lady Bulldog’s silence and drained a long 3-pointer to bring Sparta back to life. CHS led, 35-28, with 6:27 left to play in the game.  The next three minutes would bring a defensive battle with neither team able to score.


Sparta’s Maris Sangurima hit a field goal to break the spell and bring the Dawgs within five points, 35-30.  Lexie Mott answered with a bucket at 3:50 to once again extend Chester’s lead to seven points, 37-30.


A Camryn Luthy free throw and an Emma Diskey free throw gave Chester two more points and a 39-30 lead at 3:37.



CHS senior Jazzi Merideth (12) prepares to make move to the basket Thursday February 8 when Chester hosted Sparta in the “Senior Night” game. The Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Bulldogs, 45-35. In the win, Jazzi scored 1 point, recorded 1 assist and 1 steal. She was also a major defensive threat to the Sparta Lady Bulldogs. Jim Beers Photo 


With 3:17 to play in the game, Chester’s Jazzi Merideth fouled out of the game. Sparta’s Serenity Richardson popped a 2-poiunter at the 2:38 mark to bring Sparta within seven points, 39-32.


The tit-for-tat refusal to quit continued as Lexie Mott of CHS scored again and Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce connected on back-to-back free throws. Chester led, 41-34 with 1:18 remaining in the battle.


Neither team was finished yet, however, as Lexie Mott scored one final basket with .50 remaining and Sparta’s Kenzie Pierce hit a free throw with .20 to play. The Lady Jackets led, 43-33.  Just when an entire gymnasium thought the battle had ended, Chester’s Aubrey Coleman put a final nail in Sparta’s coffin by sinking a buzzer-beater to give a final score of Chester 45-Sparta 35.


In the win, Chester was led by Lexie Mott who scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 1 assist, led the team in steals with 3 and committed just one turnover. Mott was the only Chester player to score in double figures and she led all players on either team in scoring.


Chester had seven other payers contribute to the 45-point winning effort including Aubrey Colvis (5) with 1 steal and 1 turnover; Jesse Stumpe (4) with 2 rebounds, and 2 assists; Rylie Conley (3) with 2 rebounds and 4 turnovers; Camryn Luthy (3) with 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, and she led the team in assists with 3; Lillian Diskey (3) with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 4 turnovers; Emma Diskey (3) with 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 turnover; and Jazzi Merideth (1) with 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and she had Chester’s only blocked shot.


Aubrey Coleman recorded 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers. Riley Lochhead recorded 1 assist.


In the win the Lady Jackets recorded 22 rebounds, 12 assists, 11 steals, 17 turnovers, and 1 blocked shot. The Jackets shot 16-of-46 two-pointers (35%); 2-of-11 three-pointers (18%); 18-of-57 from the field (32%); and 7-of-16 from the free throw line (44%).


Sparta was led by Kenzie Pierce, a junior, who scored 21 points. She was followed by Maris Sangurima (8), Ruthie Pillers (4), and Serenity Richardson (2). The Lady Bulldogs shot 12-of-24 from the free throw line (50%).





Teammates of Chester High School basketball players Emma Diskey (35), Camryn Luthy (13) and Jazzi Merideth (12) lined the  the walls of Chester’s Colbert Memorial Gymnasium with farewell posters Thursday February 8 for “Senior Night 2024” when the Lady Jackets hosted the Sparta Lady Bulldogs. CHS won, 45-35, in a hard-fought battle. Jim Beers Photos


With the win, the Lady YellowJackets ended the regular season with a record of 2 wins and 8 losses in the Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division and 14 wins and 16 losses overall.


Chester will host Round 1 of the 2024 IHSA Class 2A Regional Tournament Saturday evening February 10 at Chester High School’s Colbert Memorial Gymnasium at 6:00 p.m. The Lady Jackets will host Anna-Jonesboro.


The Jackets beat AJ 51-30 Thursday December 28 in the Christ Our Rock Lutheran Christmas Tournament. In their second meeting in the regular season Chester defeated Anna-Jonesboro 46-44 at CHS Tuesday January 16.


The winner of Round 1 will face Carterville Tuesday February 13 at 6:00 p.m. at Carterville.