Boys basketball opens 1-1, plays at Calera on Thursday


Luke Miller, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

On Thursday, November 17, the Chelsea Hornets boys’ basketball team will travel to Calera to take on the Eagles. It will be the third game of the season for the Hornets. 

Chelsea went on the road to Homewood in the first game of the season, in which they earned a 58-54 win over the Patriots. Senior guard Paul Lanzi led the scoring with 22 points. 

Game 2 saw the Hornets return home to face the Vestavia Hills Rebels in the first game on their own court this season. Unfortunately, Chelsea suffered a heartbreaking 70-69 overtime loss. The Hornets put up a great fight, though, as Lanzi recorded another 22 points and Avery Futch and Aiden Owens scored 13 apiece.

This is Nick Baumbaugh’s ninth season as the varsity head basketball coach at Chelsea. Through his first eight years, Baumbaugh has recorded two area titles and taken his team to the playoffs on multiple occasions. Baumbaugh and his Hornets are coming off a 13-18 season in 2021-22.

Chelsea has set an expectation of success this season, as they have brought back almost their entire team from last year. So far, they’ve lived up to that with two good, hard-fought performances. 

“The main goal this year is to win, whatever is necessary,” said freshman forward Evan Moller. “Coach (Baumbaugh) and Davis have coached us to accomplish this goal, but leaders on the team, Varsity through Freshman, hold us as a group accountable.”

Moller expressed his admiration for the senior leaders on the team. Alex Redd and Dylan Brown were among the names mentioned. He also identified Paul Lanzi as a leader not only on the scoreboard, but on the practice court and in the weight room as well. 

“We have a group of leaders but these three specifically lead the drills, are captains on the court, have positive attitudes, and give 100% in the weight room,” said Moller. “These leaders are the difference between winning and losing.”

These leaders will need to step up again on Thursday when they go head-to-head with Calera. The Eagles suffered blowout losses in their opening two games against Cullman and Mountain Brook, falling 90-37 to the Bearcats and 83-33 against the Spartans. The Hornets will look to extend Calera’s losing streak. 

Moller showed full confidence in his teammates, looking ahead to their next game. 

“No doubt we beat Calera on Thursday,” Moller said. “After coming off a tough loss in OT against Vestavia last week, it will motivate us all week at practice and the hard work will show in our performance.” 

Like every athletics program at Chelsea high, boys’ basketball is making the jump to the 7A classification, and so far, they are handling it well. Success is pivotal for the Hornets this year, and a win in game 3 on Thursday could be the jump the Hornets need to recapture a winning record, and set themselves up for success throughout the rest of the season. 

It is a long, hard road ahead, but Baumbaugh and his Hornets squad are up to the challenge of 7A, and are ready to take their talents as far as they can go.