By Terry Thomas
Chester's (1-4) uneven play against the Coatesville Red Raiders (5-3) to hand the Clippers a 68-46 defeat on the campus of Philadelphia University in the Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic. The Clippers didn't get their offense started in the first quarter allowing the Red Raiders to pull away 14-4. Senior Brian Randolph III ignited the Clippers in the second quarter with 7 of his 11 points and fellow senior Isaiah Schmidt came off the bench to drop in 4 of his 9 points as Chester closed the gap at intermission. Chester - 19, Coatesville - 27. The Clippers offensive and defensive shortfalls returned in the third quarter scoring just 8 points but allowing their opponents 18 points. The Clippers were now in a 17 point hole entering the final quarter. Chester - 27, Coatesville - 44. Seven Clippers found their way into the scoring column in the final period led by junior Michael Smith with 7 of his team high 12 points but it wasn't enough to offset Coatesville's surge of 24 points. Sophomore Rahmee Gilbert joined Schmidt with points in the final quarter. Randolph and senior Timothy Johnston added 2 points apiece and Sophomore Malik Langley and senior Kylair Blackston each connected on 1 of 2 free throws.
The Clippers inaccuracy at the foul line in the second half connecting on just 7 of 17 free throws provided the opportunity for the Red Raiders to pull off the lopsided victory.
Gilbert and Johnston each finished with 5 points on the night and Rahnel Sparks completed Chester's scoring with two points in the second quarter.
The Clippers return to action tonight, Saturday, December 30th when they take on the defending District-1 Champion Penncrest Lions. The game will be the nightcap of the Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic on the campus of Widener University. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.