By Terry Thomas
Senior Brian Randolph III led the charge for Chester scoring all 17 of his game high points in the first half as the Clippers defeated the host Academy Park Knights 50-33 to open Del Val League play. The Clippers once again started slow scoring a mere 7 first quarter points but their defense held the Knights to 9. Randolph scored 6 for the Clippers. Randolph caught fire in the 2nd quarter scoring 11 of his team 13 points as Chester took a 20-18 advantage into intermission. Michael Smith, Rahmee Gilbert and Rahnel Sparks took over the scoring in the third quarter with 6, 4 and 2 points respectively to give the Clippers the quarter 12-11 for a 32-29 lead heading into the final quarter. The Clippers tight zone put the clamps on the Knights holding them to just 2 points until the final 12 seconds of the game. Meanwhile the Clippers were converting their steals and defensive rebounds to easy buckets for a 18-4, 4th quarter outburst. Sophomore Zahmir Carroll led the way the 6 points followed by Gilbert and Smith with 4 and Timothy Johnston and Kylair Blackston with 2 apiece. With the win the Clippers improve to 3-5 overall and 1-0 in league play.
Randolph filled the stat sheet with a career high 13 rebounds to complete the double-double, 4 steals, 3 assists and 1 blocked shot. Smith joined him in double figures with 10 points; he also contributed 3 assists and 2 steals. Gilbert finished with 9 points and Carroll 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 assist.
The Clippers will return home to the Clip Joint on Thursday, January 11th to continue league play against the Interboro Bucs. The JV will tipoff at 6:00 with the Varsity to follow.