Chelsea at Portland — Girls Basketball — The Bleacher Denizen — January 19, 2022 — by Chuck Krafft

Well, tonight our Bleacher Denizen’s winter basketball journey takes him to Portland High, where the Raiders Girls Basketball team will host the Bulldogs from Chelsea. Both teams are pretty strong. Portland brings a 6-1 record into the game and Chelsea is at 5-1. Chelsea will play the game without their talented sophomore point guard Leila Wells, who averages about 26 points per game.

Meg McCalla is a versatile player for Chelsea. She is comfortable playing either in the post or out on the perimeter where she handles the ball well – – especially for a player that is as tall as she is. She also gives the Bulldogs a threat from the three point line. Avery Lay is another versatile player who is tall enough to play in the post and quick enough to play on the perimeter. Her competitive nature makes her a tough defender wherever she plays.

Ashley Bower runs the point for the Raiders. She was an all-State player last year as a shooting guard, but she actually has the perimeter skills needed to play either position really well. She is a great ball handler, an accurate passer, a fine three point shooter, a great slasher to the basket and a determined defender who is tall enough to help in the post as well as on the perimeter. Breckyn Werner is a tough presence in the post where she excels on defense and rebounding. She is also a fine scorer near the basket either off set plays or putbacks and when she is left open, she is also a big threat from the three point line.

Alivia Densmore is another post player who plays well on offense and defense. She has fine scoring skills near the basket and can also hit the outside shot when she is open. Ava Guilford is a fearless perimeter defender and fine three point shooter. Even though she is frequently the shortest player on the floor, she gets a lot of rebounds.

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski puts the “D” in defense. She is tall enough to play in the post and quick enough to play on the perimeter where her quickness, determination and long arms make her an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. She has an amazing ability to deflect passes with her foot as well. Even though the other team gets the ball back, it gives the other team’s ball handlers yet another issue to deal with.

Malia Thelen is a strong perimeter defender and ball handler who has a nice touch from the three point line. Alexa Weber brings depth to the post where she is a good defender and rebounder. She can also score inside on layups or putbacks. Doltza Oiartzabal is a creative ball handler and determined defender. She had hit the three point shot and can devise creative ways to score inside or on slashes to the hoop.

There was no JV game tonight as Chelsea only had ten healthy players available. (Darn that COVID!!!)

It is now time to relate the events of this game through the cloudy eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who never was able to escape church league when he attempted to play in ages past. His experience playing horseshoes betrayed him. While leaners that touch the stake score at least a point, your Bleacher Denizen took way too long to learn that basketballs need to go through the hoop. Who knew of that complication???

Speaking of age, your Bleacher Denizen does occasionally run into things even older than he is. Here is a song that is more than a hundred years old from my “Chuck Krafft” You-Tube page!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUieaBvS38w

Chelsea gets the ball to start the game as the player jumping center catches the ball. Avery Lay passes to Maggie McKale, who hits a three pointer from the side to give Chelsea the game’s first points. Breckyn Werner passes to Ava Guilford, who hits a three pointer from the corner for Portland to tie the game. Alivia Densmore knocks the ball out of bounds; Chelsea retains possession. The Bulldogs miss a threeball from the wing. Portland misses a driving layup. Ashley Bower steals a Bulldog pass and hits a fast break layup to give her Raiders a 5-3 lead.

Chelsea throws a pass too high and out of bounds. Portland misses a three pointer from the side. Ashley Bower gets the offensive rebound and passes to Alivia Densmore, who hits a layup for Portland. Meg McCalla drives and hits a layup for Chelsea to trim the Raider lead to 7-5.

Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Ava Guilford pulls down the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Maya Valik steals the ball for Chelsea. Breckyn Werner blocks a Bulldog eight footer from the side. Portland misses a twelve footer from the baseline. Chelsea misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Portland misses a jump shot from the free throw line. Chelsea misses a threeball from the wing. The Bleacher Denizen misses seeing the ball go in the basket.

Meg McCalla ignores the Bleacher Denizen’s existential angst and makes a great effort to save the rebound from the missed threeball for her Bulldogs, but Portland finally grabs the rebound. Portland turns the ball over. Chelsea misses a three point shot from the wing; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Bulldogs get the ball back. The Bulldogs miss a three point shot from the side. Meg McCalla hits a putback for Chelsea and is fouled. She makes her free throw to give the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead with 2:59 to play in the first quarter.

Portland misses a driving layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Raiders get another possession. Avery Lay steals the ball for the Bulldogs. On the other end, Avery Lay throws in a threeball from the top of the key to boost the Bulldog lead to 11-7.

Portland throws a pass out of bounds. Doltza Oiartzabal steals the ball for the Raiders. Portland misses a driving layup. Breckyn Werner blocks a Bulldog shot; the ball goes out of bounds and Chelsea gets it back. Ashley Bower knocks the ball away from Chelsea and Shalyn Dziewiatkowski grabs it for Portland. Breckyn Werner passes the ball to Alivia Densmore, who spins and hits a layup for Portland. Chelsea misfires on a three pointer from the corner. The rebound goes out of bounds and Portland takes possession. Alivia Densmore drives and hits a six foot shot in the lane for the Raiders to tie the game. Chelsea is not able to shoot before the first quarter buzzer makes its presence known.

After one quarter, the game is tied at 11-11.

Portland has the ball to begin the second quarter. The Raiders misfire on a threeball from the corner. Breckyn Werner pulls down the offensive rebound for Portland. Maggie McKale steals the ball for the Bulldogs. Avery Lay drives from the side to hit a layup for the Bulldogs. Meg McCalla steals the ball and hits a fast break layup to give Chelsea a 15-11 lead.

Portland misses a layup. The rebound is tied up. The Possession Arrow holds a seance and the powers from beyond instruct it to award the ball to Chelsea. Chelsea misses a three point shot from the corner. Ava Guilford passes the ball to Ashley Bower, who hits a layup for Portland. Chelsea loses the all out of bounds. Alivia Densmore passes to Alexa Weber, who hits a layup for Portland to tie the game at 15-15.

Chelsea misfires on a triple try from the corner. Caroline Knight hits a layup for the Bulldogs to retake the lead. Alexa Weber hits a layup for Portland to tie the game. Alivia Densmore knocks the ball away from the Bulldogs and Ashley Bower picks it up for the Raiders. Ashley Bower hits a fast break layup to give Portland the lead. Chelsea misses a three point attempt from the side. Portland misses a driving layup. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Raiders get another opportunity. Avery Lay blocks a Portland layup; the Raiders corral the loose ball. Ashley Bower drives and dishes the ball to Malia Thelen, who tosses in a threeball from the corner to give Portland a 22-17 lead.

Chelsea misses a three pointer from the side; the rebound goes out of bounds and Portland takes possession. Portland commits an offensive foul. Ashley Bower steals the ball for the Raiders and is fouled on a fast break layup. She hits two free throws to extend the Raider lead to 24-17 with 2:09 remaining in the first half.

Ashley Bower steals the ball for Portland. The Raiders miss a fast break layup. Ashley Bower chases down the long offensive rebound for Portland. Portland misses a layup. Ava Guilford steals the ball for Portland. Portland misses another fast break layup. Chelsea mislaunches a three pointer near the top of the key. Alivia Densmore passes to Breckyn Werner, who is fouled before she can start her shooting motion. Ava Guilford hits a three point shot from the corner as the second quarter buzzer sounds.

Portland has a 27-17 lead at halftime.

Meg McCalla has 7 points at halftime for Chelsea and very Lay has 5 points.

Ashley Bower has 8 points for Portland. Ava Guilford and Alivia Densmore each have 6 points.

Portland has the ball to begin the third quarter. Ashley Bower passes to Breckyn Werner, who is fouled on a layup and hits one of her two free throws for the Raiders. Alivia Densmore steals a Bulldog pass. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Ella Day passes to Meg McCalla, who his a layup, is fouled and makes her free throw. With 6:54 to play in the third quarter, Portland has a 28-20 lead.

Ashley Bower passes to Ava Guilford, who cleanly strokes a jumper from the wing to give the Raiders three points. Alivia Densmore’s defense leads to a Chelsea turnover for carrying the ball. Ashley Bower drives and scoops in a layup for Portland. Ava Guilford steals the ball for the Raiders. Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Chelsea reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the corner. Meg McCalla hits a putback to trim the Portland lead to 33-22.

Alivia Densmore passes to Ashley Bower, who puts in a three point shot from the wing for Portland. Breckyn Werner and Ashley Bower hit the floor to tie the ball up. The Possession Arrow blissfully ignores their willingness to sacrifice their bodies and decides to give the ball to the Bulldogs. Chelsea misses a driving layup. Avery Lay gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Chelsea misses a layup. The rebound is tied up. After consulting and international commission, the Possession Arrow awards the ball to Portland. Avery Lay blocks a Portland layup. Meg McCalla drives and hits a layup for Chelsea to shave the Portland lead to 36-24.

Portland misses a layup. Alexa Weber snares the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Avery Lay blocks a Raider layup. Chelsea travels with the ball. (Basketball cliches can be interesting; I have my doubts that traveling without the ball is terribly newsworthy.) Meg McCalla steals a Portland pass. Chelsea misses a three point shot from the side. Avery Lay gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Doltza Oiartzabal steals the ball for Portland. Ava Guilford hits a sweet high glass hook shot to give the Raiders a 38-24 lead.

Chelsea misses a three point shot from the corner. Doltza Oiartzabal passes to Alexa Weber, who hits a layup for the Raiders. Caroline Knight reacts quickly to prevent an errant pass from becoming a Bulldog turnover. Chelsea misses a three point shot from the side. Meg McCalla gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Chelsea commits an offensive foul. Ava Guilford passes to Malia Thelen, who sinks a three point shot from the side for Portland. Meg McCalla is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws to trim the Portland lead to 43-25 with 45.3 seconds left in the third quarter.

Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Ava Guilford gets the offensive rebound for Portland. Avery Lay steals the ball for the Bulldogs. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski blocks a Chelsea layup. The ball goes out of bounds and Chelsea gets the ball back. Meg McCalla is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws for Chelsea. With 7.5 seconds left in the quarter, Portland has a 43-27 lead. Portland is not able to shoot before the third quarter ends.

After three quarters, Portland holds a 43-27 lead.

Chelsea has the ball to start the fourth period. Avery Lay passes to Maya Valik, show hits a three point shot from the wing for the Bulldogs. Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Chelsea reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the corner. Caroline Knight gets the offensive rebound and is fouled on a putback. She hits one of her two free throws to shave the Portland lead to 43-31 with 6:24 remaining in the game.

Portland misfires on a threeball from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Raiders get another possession. Portland misses a ten foot shot from the side; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Bulldogs take the ball. Breckyn Werner blocks a Bulldog layup. Avery Lay passes to Kiara Kuebler, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Chelsea. Caroline Knight steals the ball and hits a fast break layup to cut the Portland lead to 43-36 with 4:37 left in the game.

Portland misses a layup. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski works hard and is able to tap the ball to a Raider teammate. Ava Guilford hits a layup for Portland. Ashley Bower steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Portland. Chelsea misses a three point attempt from the corner. Portland misses a driving layup. Alivia Densmore is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws to stretch the Portland lead to 48-36 with 2:55 left on the clock.

Chelsea misses a three point shot from the side. Malia Thelen passes the ball to Ashley Bower, who is fouled on a layup and makes one of her two free throws. Malia Thelen steals the ball for Portland. Ava Guilford passes to Breckyn Werner, who hits a layup for Portland. Chelsea misses a threeball from the corner and fouls on the rebound. Ava Guilford passes to Ashley Bower, who hits a layup for the Raiders. Chelsea misses a driving layup. Portland runs out the clock.

Portland wins this game by the score of 53-36.

Meg McCalla led the shorthanded Chelsea Bulldogs with 17 points. Caroline Knight and Avery Lay each added 5 points. Maggie McKale, May Valik and Kiara Kuebler each contributed a three point basket to end with 3 points.

Ashley Bower had 18 points to lead the victorious Portland Raiders. Ava Guilford joined her teammate in double figures with 13 points. Alivia Densmore contributed 7 points. Malia Thelen and Alexa Weber each scored 6 points. Breckyn Werner scored 3 points.

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