By Terry Thomas
Chester drops to 4-4 after dropping a 46-47 decision to the Penncrest Lions in a matinee affair at the 14th Annual Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic at Widener University.
The Clippers started slow and were looking at a 4-8 deficit at the end of the 1st quarter. Sophomore Karell Watkins took control in the second quarter scoring 10 of his game high 17 points giving Chester a slim 21-20 lead at the intermission. Senior Rahmaad DeJarnette contributed 5 of his 8 points and sophomore Fareed Burton Jr. add 2 as Chester outscored Penncrest 17-12.
Chester's failure to score with their first three possessions in the 3rd quarter enabled the Lions to lead 21-25 before senior Michael Smith connected with a trey to cut the lead to 24-25 at the 5:29 mark. DeJarnette hit a three on their next possession to tie the score at 27 with 4:43 on the clock. The teams exchanged baskets and the score was tied once again at 32 before Smith off an assist from Burton knocked down another trey to give the Clippers a 35-32 lead with 1:10 remaining. Neither team's possession resulted in a basket and the quarter ended.
Both teams played a more deliberate game in the final quarter with Chester maintaining a one possession lead until Smith dropped another trey off an assist from DeJarnette to give the Clippers a 43-39 lead with 2:34 remaining. Penncrest scored on their next possession and Watkins answered with a put-back bucket to put the lead back to four, 45-41, with 54.4 second left in the contest. The Lions converted three free throws to cut the lead to 1, 45-44, with about 36 seconds left. Michael Smith was fouled making the front end of a 1-and-1 for a 46-44 Chester lead with18.6 second on the clock. Rahmee Gilbert held his ground defensively knocking the ball loose but it rolled into the hands of Penncrest's Tomlin who drained a trey from NBA range with 2.3 seconds on the clock giving the Lions their first lead of the 4th quarter. With Chester about to inbound the ball, three consecutive timeouts were called as the teams were trying to change the outcome of the game. Chester inbounded and a 3/4 court heave was unsuccessful.
After playing 3 games in 4 days, the Clippers will take advantage of the week off before returning to Del Val League action on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 with they play host to the Chichester Eagles at the Fred Pickett Gymnasium. The JV game will tip-off at 6:00 p.m. with the Varsity to follow.
Happy New Year!