By Terry Thomas
Chester's win streak comes to an end with a 58-64 setback at the hands of the Bayard Rustin Knights at the Clip Joint. Chester's record now stands at 14-6. The Clippers road the hot hand of senior Brian Randolph in the first half to take a 35-33 lead into intermission. Randolph scored 16 of his team and co-game high 19 points in that first half. In the 3rd quarter the Clippers were out of sync at both ends of the floor resulting in a 8-18 scoring deficit allowing the Knight to take control of the game. Chester trailed 43-51 at the end of the quarter. The Clippers started the fourth quarter with new energy and Michael Smith brought the team with 52-54 with 4:20 remaining. Javan Graham's bucket off a feed from Karell Watkins tied the score at 56 with 3:21 remaining. After Rustin scored an open trey on the next possession, the Clippers let their next three possessions get away from them. On the fourth possession Smith converted two free throws to bring the Chester within one, 58-59 with 0:43.8 remaining. The Knights made 1 of 2 free throws on the next possession for a two point advantage, 58-60. With 21 seconds remaining Chester committed an untimely turnover and the Knight converted their miscue into a dunk and a 58-62 lead. After one last missed Chester shot, Rustin finished with two more free throws.
Michael Smith joined Randolph in double figures with 16 points and he also contributed 4 assists. JV callup Karell Watkins added 3 points, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 7 rebounds and 1 steal to his stat sheet.
Chester's box score: Randolph (19), Smith (16), Timothy Johnston (8), Graham (6), Rahmee Gilbert (5), Watkins (3), Kylair Blackston (1)
Chester's injury list continues to grow with sophomore Malik Langley; joining junior Rahmaad DeJarnette and sophomore Zahmir Carroll.
Chester will return to league play on Tuesday, February 6th, when the play host to Del Val League foe Penn Wood Patriots. A win for the Clippers will return the Del Val Championship to its rightful place at 9th & Barclay after one year away from home.