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.