By Terry Thomas
The Chester Clippers (18-6) moves on to the District-1 Semi-finals with a 69-56 victory over the visiting Sun Valley Vanguards. Tonight marked the 41st consecutive time the Clippers have beaten the Vanguards dating back to 1987. Chester will face #2 seeded Bishop Shanahan with a 6:00 pm tip-off on Wednesday, February 28th at Temple University.
Senior Timothy Johnston spearheaded the Clippers charge in the 3rd quarter with 11 of his 13 points. Chester pushed their 1 point halftime lead to 12 point, 51-39, at the end of the 3rd quarter. Johnston matched his career high of 4 assist and established a new career high with 4 steals.
While the Vanguards Vinny DiAngelo was putting in a game high 29 points, the Clippers Michael Smith was just behind him with his team high 27 points. The Clippers junior point guard also matched his career high with 7 rebounds. He also went 6 of 7 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter to seal the victory. Sun Valley's Marvin Freeman scored 11 points in the first half but was held to just a trey in the 4th to finish with 14 points.
The Clippers 6'4" freshman Karell Watkins made his presence felt in the first half with 10 points including two old-fashioned three point plays. He also hauled in 8 rebounds and finished with 12 points. Senior Brian Randolph III was the focus of the Vanguards defense but still managed to score 6 first quarter points and 9 for the game. Rahmaad DeJarnette and Kylair Blackston each contributed 4 points apiece to complete the Clippers scoring.
Chester's team concept was on display once again with 17 assists on 25 made baskets.