Sunday, December 30, 2018

Chester High Boys Basketball lose another close one

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!

Chester High Boys Basketball rebounds against St. Georges Tech

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers (4-3) got back on the winning side with 47-46 win against the St. Georges Tech Hawks 14th Annual Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic on the campus of Widener University. Junior Akeem Taylor Jr. and sophomore Karell Watkins led the charge in the first quarter for the Clippers scoring 6 points apiece as Chester enjoyed a 14-6 lead to close the period. St. Georges's senior Nah'shon Hyland after being held scoreless in the opening stanza scored 10 of his game high 20 points in the 2nd quarter to cut into Chester's lead. Chester junior Rahmee Gilbert joined Watkins with 4 second quarter points, senior Michael Smith added 3 and Taylor used a thunderous dunk off a missed Smith shot to close the scoring for the Clippers. Chester led at the half 27-24.

After the Hawks failed to score on the opening possession of the 3rd quarter, Watkins scored on a put-back to give the Clippers a 29-24 lead. St. Georges responded with a 7-0 run capped by a Hyland three pointer that gave the Hawks their first lead of the night 29-31 at the 5:10 mark. Chester called for a timeout and the Clippers responded with an 8-2 run to regain the lead 37-33 with 2:30 remaining. The teams exchanged buckets before Smith stole a Hawks pass and dished to Gilbert for a layup that gave the Clippers a 41-35 margin with 1:33 on the clock. Watkins completed the 3rd quarter scoring with dunk and Chester's lead remained at six points, 43-37. Gilbert, Taylor, Watkins and senior Rahmaad DeJarnette each contributed 4 points for the Clippers in the quarter.

The Clippers started the 4th quarter scoreless on the first six possessions and the Hawks took advantage with a 9-0 outburst to gain the lead 43-46 at the 3:20 mark. Senior Javan Graham came off the bench for the Clippers and scored off a missed Watkins shot to finally stop the run at 2:49. Chester - 45, St. Georges - 46. Watkins rebounded the Hawks next shot but the Clippers failed to score - Time: 1:56. On the Hawks next possession, Graham came up big once again with a blocked shot that was rebounded by Gilbert and resulted in a Michael Smith basket that put the Clippers in the lead 47-46 with 1:14 remaining. Watkins hauled in another missed St. George's shot and Chester called for a 30-second timeout with 47.1 seconds remaining in the contest. After missing the front end of a 1 and 1 at the 42.9 seconds mark, junior Rahmee Gilbert stole the ball and the Clippers failed to ice the game at the free throw line. After missing another 1 and 1 opportunity with 26.3 seconds on the clock, Chester's defense held its ground to secure the win stopping the Hawks on two occasions during the last 26.3 seconds.

Three Clippers scored in double figures led by Watkins (14), Taylor (12) and Gilbert (10). Watkins garnered his sixth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds and Taylor completed his first double-double with his season high 11 rebounds. Taylor also finished with 2 assists, 1 steal and his season high of 3 blocked shots. Michael Smith had 5 points, DeJarnette contributed 4 and Javan Graham's 2 points completed the scoring for the Clippers.

Chester will return to action on Sunday afternoon, December 30th, for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off against the Penncrest Lions of the Central League. The game will be played at Widener University in the final day of the Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Chester High Boys Basketball comes up short at Lower Merion

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers fall to 3-3 with a 59-55 setback at the hands of the Lower Merion Aces in the nightcap of the Kobe Bryant Classic. Neither team could find the bottom of the basket in the first quarter that ended with Chester trailing 3-5 (and No, this isn't baseball). Chester began to make buckets in the lane while the Aces found their mark from distance with three treys which put the Clippers in the hole 24-15 at the half.

The Clippers made a run in the third quarter sparked by the outside/inside tandem of junior Akeem Taylor Jr and sophomore Karell Watkins. Taylor was hitting from distance with 12 points including two treys which opened the lane for Watkins to put back 6 of his team high 15 points. Senior Rahmaad DeJarnette sliced the lane for 4 points and junior Rahmee Gilbert added a trey as the Clippers closed the gap to 40-41 at the end of the quarter.

Watkins scored on Chester's first two possession of the 4th quarter and the Clippers took their first lead of the night 44-41 at the 7:00 mark. The Clippers went scoreless over the next 5:59 until a basket by DeJarnette stopped the 10-0 Aces run. With 1:01 on the clock, Chester trailed 46-51. Senior Michael Smith converted an Aces turnover into a bucket and cut the deficit to 48-51 with 49.3 second remaining. After the Aces knocked down two free throws, DeJarnette answered with a basket the lead was back to three, 50-53 with 28.5 on the clock. Watkins stole the inbound pass and a miss shot by Taylor had the Clippers foul to stop the clock. Unfortunately Lower Merion did not play nice at the line and converted both free throws. As Chester was forced to foul to save the clock, the Aces converted on 12 of 13 fourth quarter free throw attempts. Smith scored a bucket at the 9.2 mark and Gilbert drained another trey as the buzzer sounded.

Watkins finished with his 5th double-double in 6 games with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor and DeJarnette joined him in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Gilbert finished with 8, Smith tallied 6 and Zahmir Carroll completed the scoring with 3 points.

Next up for the Clippers are the St. Georges Tech (DE) Hawks on Saturday, December 29th in the Pete/Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic on the campus of Widener University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

A Midwinter Moment of Spontaneous Composition at André Café Acoustique

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Chester High Boys Basketball continues to sail

By Terry Thomas

Chester (3-2) kept their win streak alive at three games with an exciting 77-72 victory over the visiting Reading Red Knights (3-2) in the nightcap of the 3rd Annual Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Classic. The Clip Joint was electric as these rivals and their crowds were very vocal before the contest even began. The game gave off the aura of a playoff atmosphere and it was only game five for both teams.

The game was a see-saw affair through the first 4:24. A steal and a bucket by sophomore Karell Watkins off the dime from junior Akeem Taylor and the Knights called for a timeout at 3:36 trailing 14-12. The Clippers finished the quarter with a 11-5 run for a 25-17 advantage. The Clippers starting five accounted for all their points led by Watkins with 8, senior Michael Smith (7), Taylor (6) and junior Rahmee Gilbert and senior Rahmaad DeJarnette contributing a bucket apiece.

The Red Knights made a run to start the 2nd quarter and the Clippers relinquished the lead 32-33 at about the 3:00 mark. After rebounding a missed three point attempt by DeJarnette Chester called for a timeout at 2:43 and the score the same. Out of the timeout the Clippers missed the front end of a one-and-one. They forced a Reading turnover and DeJarnette walked to the line for his 1-and-1 and connected on both to regain the lead 34-33 with 2:21 remaining. There were two lead changes before the Red Knights called timeout after a Watkins free-throw tied the score at 37 with 39.6 seconds remaining in the half. Chester converted a Reading turnover into an assist from Gilbert to DeJarnette and the Clippers went to intermission with a slight 39-27 lead.

The Clippers gave the Clip Joint a look at the patented Chester press and Reading had no answer. The only way the Red Knights could stop the assault was with their 3rd timeout of the game. The results was a 10-0 run giving the Clippers a 49-37 lead at the 4:56 mark. The Clippers defense held Reading to just 9 points in the period while exploding for 21 of their own. Watkins led the way 9 of his team/co-game high 27 points and Taylor added 6 which helped him match his season high of 14 points. This resulted in a 60-46 Chester lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.

After starting the 4th quarter with 3 consecutive turnover Chester saw their lead dip to 60-51 before Watkins rebounded a missed Reading shot and scored at the other end to push the lead back to double digits 62-51 at the 6:23 mark. Two more DeJarnette free throws and the lead was 64-51 at 5:46. The Red Knights capitalized on the Clippers turnovers and missed free throw and was with six (66-60) with 3:25 showing on the clock. Watkins rebounded the Reading next shot attempt and Smith converted two free throws. After a steal by Smith, DeJarnette knocked down a free throw to push the lead 69-60 at 2:49. Chester did not score on their next three possessions enabling Reading to produce a 8-0 run before Taylor's layup stopped the madness at 1:05. Chester - 71, Reading - 68. After Watkins assisted bucket from Taylor gave the Clippers the 73-70 lead with 45 seconds remaining; Smith went 4 of 4 from the line to seal the win.

Watkins finished with his fourth double double of the season by hauling in 15 rebounds to go along with his 27 points and career high 5 assists. Michael Smith finished with a season high 21 points and Rahmaad DeJarnette joined the double digit party with 13 points. While matching his season high of 14 points, Akeem Taylor Jr. filled the stat sheet with a season highs of 6 assists. Junior Rahmee Gilbert contributed season highs of 4 assists and 5 steals to go along with his lone 1st quarter bucket. The Clippers finished with 20 assists on 30 made baskets.

The Clippers will get a nice break during the holiday season before returning to action on Thursday, December 27th when they travel to Lower Merion to take on the Aces in the Kobe Bryant Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Chester High Boys Basketball sails past South Philadelphia

By Terry Thomas

The Chester improved to 2-2 with a 87-47 route of the South Philadelphia (Southern) Rams (1-3) at the Clip Joint. The Clippers had five with double figures led by senior Michael Smith's game high and season high of 18 points. Sophomore Karell Watkins added 13, juniors Akeem Taylor and Zahmir Carroll each tallied 10 points while Rahmee Gilbert finished with a season high of 11 points. Sophomore Fareed Burton Jr connected on 9 of 10 free throws to fall short of double figures.

The Clippers started the contest with a 15-0 run before the Rams stopped the bleeding at the 5:50 mark. The Rams responded by outscoring the Clippers 18-10 to close out the first quarter; Chester led 25-18. Smith led the charge with 8 points followed by Watkins (6), Taylor (5), Gilbert (4) and Rahmaad DeJarnette's two points.

The Clippers started the 2nd quarter in the same fashion as the 1st quarter except this time it was a 16-2 run. It was Chester 41-20 until Southern hit a trey at the 2:40 mark to close the gap to 41-23. The Clippers responded with a 7-0 run that was stopped by a Ram's free throw with 10 seconds remaining; Chester 48-24. Chester answered with a bucket and Southern knocked down a layup as the buzzer sounded. Chester led 50-26 at the intermission. The major difference in this quarter was Chester's defensive intensity matched their offense; limiting their opponent to a mire 8 points in the quarter. With Taylor restricted to role of spectator after picking up 2 first quarter fouls, senior Javan Graham stepped up with a season high 6 points in the period. Chester had an outstanding day at the free throw line in the quarter connecting on 15 of 18 shots. Sophomore Burton was 7 for 8, Smith was perfect at 6 of 6 while Gilbert dropped 2 of 4. Junior Carroll added his first of 5 field goals.

The beginning of the 3rd quarter was a little more competitive to start as the team's exchanged baskets before Chester's dominance once again surfaced; the Clippers doubled up Rams 70-35 at the 1:08 mark. Chester's starting five played the entire quarter and they each participated in the scoring. Watkins led with way with 7 points, Taylor (5), Smith (4), Gilbert (3) and DeJarnette added his final 2 to finish with 4 points. The Clipper led 71-37 after outscoring their opponent 21-11.

With their reserves starting the 4th quarter, on their first possession Burton went 2 for 2 from the line. With the second possession sophomore Burton fed junior Zahmir Caroll for a dunk. Caroll also scored on Chester's next possessions invoking the Mercy Rule with 6:10 remaining; Chester - 77, Southern - 37. Senior Christian Massena took advantage of his first minutes of the season with a season/career high of 6 points. Carroll added another two baskets for Chester's final tally.

Chester will return to action on Tuesday, December 18 when District 3's Reading Red Knights visit the Clip Joint for a 8:00 Tip-off. The game will be a Varsity only affair as the nightcap of the 3rd Annual Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Classic. Glasgow vs. Friends Central will open the event tipping off at 6:15 pm.