By Terry Thomas
After suffering two close defeats the Clippers (1-2) put one in the win column after sailing past the Newark (DE) Yellow Jackets on their home floor 81-59. Chester entered the contest fully energized as sophomore Karell Watkins led the way with 12 of the team's 24 first quarter points. Juniors Rahmee Gilbert and Akeem Taylor Jr. each contributed 5 while seniors Rahmaad DeJarnette and Michael Smith chipped in with 2 points apiece. Chester - 24, Newark - 19.
Chester pushed their lead to 9 points, 30-21, forcing a Newark timeout at the 5:50 mark in the 2nd quarter. After the timeout Chester finished the quarter with a 15-8 run using seven players to produce their 21 points. Junior Zahmir Carroll led the way with 6 points followed by Smith with 5 and Gilbert, Taylor, Watkins, sophomore Fareed Burton Jr and senior Rahnel Sparks each scoring a bucket. During the 2nd quarter run Smith, Taylor, Burton and Watkins each picked up their 2nd personal foul. Rahmaad DeJarnette did not play in the 2nd quarter due to claiming his 2nd personal foul in the first quarter. The Clippers were just as productive on the defensive end holding Yellow Jackets to just 10 points. Of the eight Clippers that saw action in the period seven of them scored. At the intermission it was Chester - 45, Newark - 29.
The third quarter got off to an interesting start as Chester accumulated seven team fouls including two offensive ones within their first five possessions thus allowing Newark to shoot 1-and-1's at the 4:40 mark. Watkins and Taylor with 7 and 4 points respectively were responsible for all the Clippers scoring in the quarter. It proved to be enough as the Yellow Jackets could get no closer than 8 points. At the end of the period it was Chester - 56, Newark - 48.
Back at full strength in the 4th quarter, the Clippers became a nightmare for the Yellow Jackets forcing turnover after turnover coupled with the inside dominance of Watkins and Carroll. Watkins dropped in 12 of his career high 31 points and Carroll added 7 of his career high 13 points; each also finished with a double-double collecting 11 and 10 rebounds. Carroll's 10 rebounds also marked a career high and he matched his season high with two blocked shots. Chester outscored Newark 25-11 in the final 8 minutes.
Even with limited action, Smith was able to produce 9 points and season highs of 5 assists and 3 steals. Sophomore Burton sets his young career high at 3 assists.
The Clippers will return home to the Clip Joint on Friday, December 14th to take on South Philadelphia. JV will tip-off at 6:00 with Varsity to follow around 7:30 p.m.