Hard-nosed | TheUnion.com


For Chelsea Haverty, the start of the Bear River girls basketball team’s preseason tournament game began like most of the 60-or-so others in her two and a half-year varsity career.

Seconds after tip off, the Bruin senior wing set up the defense at the top of the key.

A flash of white light and gush of crimson later, the three-year letter winner was out on her feet.

“The girl (I was guarding), just threw an elbow. I felt my nose and I knew something was wrong. Then I looked at my hands, and they were covered with blood,” she said. “I stood there for a while, then I just fell to the floor.”

Her nose broken, Haverty sat out the remainder of the game.

But thanks to some quick thinking from her father, Mike, she made it back for the next day’s game versus Northern Nevada power Reed (Reno).

“I really wanted to play (against Reed) because I knew it was going to be a big game. I knew my team needed me,” she said. “So that night my dad found a mask at a sporting goods store. He trimmed it down (in the hotel room).”

The Bruins came up 10 points short against Reed, but rebounded to win 17 of their next 18 games, no doubt thanks in part to the type of hard-nosed toughness Haverty displayed in that Reno gym.

“She’s a nice kid, but on the floor she’s got some responsibilities where she has to be tough,” Bear River head coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “She came back right after she broke her nose. Those are the things (leaders) have to do.”

Getting defensive

Haverty was a year into her Bruin basketball career when her long frame and scary-quick moves caught Ganskie’s eye.

“By the time she was a sophomore, she was ready to compete at the varsity level. She had such great athleticism. Her ability to guard perimeter players as well as some post players made her invaluable,” Ganskie said.

Thanks to an overabundance of scoring threats in the Cardinal and Gray, Haverty was allowed to concentrate on defense during her first two varsity seasons.

That all changed with the start of this year.

“For the last two years, she knew she was on the best player on the other team. The biggest change this year is she’s no longer one of our role players, she’s a go-to player,” Ganskie said. “She’s got great quickness to the basket. We want her to attack the basket whenever she has the remote possibility to do so.”

“She handles the ball as well as anybody on the perimeter and she’s got the size to (post up), so it makes it very hard for teams to match up against her,” he added.

Haverty has fit into her new role nicely.

As of Tuesday, her 7.6 points a game is good enough for 11th in the Pioneer Valley League, according to maxpreps.com.

She’s also tops in the league in assists (74), fifth in 2-pointers made (71) and eighth in 3-pointers made (15).

The glamorous stuff aside, Haverty’s proven she’s just as productive doing the dirty work

Her 107 rebounds puts her in the league’s fifth spot. Mix in her 59 steals, which is third-best in the league, and it’s easy to see why Ganskie feels comfortable with Haverty at the helm.

“My role as team captain is to try to keep everyone focused on the main goal: Getting to Arco Arena (for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III finals),” she said.

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