Sunday, December 29, 2019

Clippers Overcome by the Rams

By Terry Thomas

Chester (4-2) were unable to overcome their slow start in falling to the West Chester East (7-1) Rams 60-47 at the 15th Annual Pete/Jameer Nelson Classic on the campus of West Chester University. Down 8-16 entering the 2nd quarter, junior Karell Watkins deposited 11 of his team high 20 points as the Clippers closed to 23-26 at the half. Chester usually strong defensive and offensive effort was AWOL in the 3rd quarter as East pushed their lead back to 10 points, 30-40, to end the quarter. Watkins once again led the Clippers with 7 points.

Led by junior Fareed Burton Jr and senior Akeem Taylor Jr with 7 and 6 points respectively, Chester got within 5, 47-53, with 1:25 remaining in the contest. However, the Clippers went scoreless in the next five possession which allowed the Rams to close with a 7-0 run.

For the second consecutive game, all the Chester points came from their starting five. Watkins recorded another double-double with 12 rebounds to go along with his 20 points. Taylor joined him in double figures with 12 points followed by Burton with 9. Rahmee Gilbert and Zahmir Carroll completed the scoring with 4 and 2 points respectively. The Clippers finished with 8 assists on 18 made baskets.

The Clippers will return to action on Monday, December 30th with the Pete/Jameer Nelson Classic returns to Widener University. Chester will take on the Haverford School in the nightcap scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. tip-off.

Chester's JV record now stands at 4-2 after splitting games in the JV Christmas Tournament on the campus of West Chester University.

Game 1 - Owen J. Roberts:  Saahir McMillan led three Clippers in double figures with a game high 16 points as Chester won easily 60-32. Lenny Camacho and Yinka Itabiyi joined the party with 11 points each. Ten of the twelve Clippers who saw action entered their namews in the scoring column. The other Chester scorers were Nasir Madison (8), William Smith (4) followed by Donziar Ellis, Naeem Scott Jr, Kareem Devore, Keenan Warren and Jermere Clark each with 2 points.

Game 2 - Central Buck South: The Clippers let this one slip away in overtime falling 46-47. Leading 46-44 with 7 second remaining, a missed assignment left an open shooter who nailed a trey from the corner as the buzzer sounded. Lenny Camacho was high scorer for Chester with 12 points. Edward Harmon (8), Donziar Ellis (7) and Yinka Itabiyi contributed 6 points. Nasir Madison and Jermere Clark each added four points coupled with two each from William Smith and Keenan Warren.

The JV team return to action on Saturday, January 4th when the Bartram Braves visit the Clip Joint. JV tip-off is slated for 6:00 p.m. with the Varsity to follow.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Clippers Bounce Back with an Overtime Win

By Terry Thomas

Chester (4-1) returned to their winning ways with a thrilling 79-74 overtime victory over the host Southern (South Philly) Rams. It's said that a basketball game is made up of "Series of Runs" and never were more truer words spoken as it relates to tonight's game. The Clippers trailed 0-4 before going on a 13-0 run. The Rams closed the 1st quarter with a 9-2 run. Chester led 15-13. Akeem Taylor Jr and Karell Watkins led with way with 6 points each and junior point guard Fareed Burton Jr started the scoring with a trey.

In the 2nd quarter, Chester led 24-22 at the 3:25 mark before Southern finished the quarter with a 21-4 sprint. It was Chester - 28, Southern - 43. Senior Rahmee Gilbert's nine coupled with two each from Taylor and Watkins kept it that close.

At the 3:10 mark in the 3rd quarter, the Clippers were now facing a 14-point deficit, 38-52. They responded by turning up both the offensive and defensive intensity resulting in a 17-3 run to take the lead at the end of the quarter. Chester - 55, Southern - 54. Gilbert scored 10, Taylor - 9 and 4 each from Burton and Watkins fueled the Clippers.

The teams settled down in the final 8 minutes not allowing a single run. Both teams enjoyed their largest lead of the quarter at four points. Trailing 65-68 with 22.5 seconds remaining in the quarter, Burton connected on 1 of 2 free throws to pull the Clippers with 2 at 66-68. After a steal and turnover by the Clippers, the Rams countered hitting 1 of 2 free throw for a 66-69 advantage with 0:08.1 seconds remaining. Chester pushed the ball up court and found Taylor sitting in the left and he calmly drained the trey as the buzzer sounded sending the game into overtime.

Chester started the four-minute overtime with a 6-0 run led by Taylor (4) and Gilbert (2). The Rams finally scored their first point with 1:52 remaining. The Clippers pressure forced several Rams turnovers during the overtime and Chester led 79-72 with 4.2 seconds. The Rams scored at the one second mark for the final score.

The Clippers starting five produced all their points in the contest led by a Clippers career high of 24 points for Akeem Taylor Jr. Taylor scored 35 points in a contest while attending the Chester Charter High School during his sophomore season. Rahmee Gilbert also recorded his career high with 23 points including connecting on 11 of 13 free throws. Fareed Burton Jr joined in the party with a career high of 13 points. Karell Watkins made his presence felt with another double double consisting of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Zahmir Carroll completed with scoring with 6 crucial fourth quarter points.

The Clippers will enjoy the Christmas break before returning to action on Saturday, December 28th when they take on West Chester East in the 15th Annual Pete Nelson Holiday Classic on the campus of West Chester University. Tip-off is slated for 6:15 p.m.

The Chester JV team improved their record to 3-1 with smooth sailing as they breezed to a 62-34 defeat of the Southern Rams. All thirteen players that saw action were able to put their names in the scoring column led by Yinka Itabiyi with 11 points. Also scoring were Jermere Clark (8), Edward Harmon (7), William Smith (7), Lenny Camacho (5), Donziar Ellis (5), Kareem Devore (5), Saahir McMillan (3) and Naim Jenkins (3). Two points each was scored by Nasir Madison, Shaquan Horsey, Keenan Warren and Andre Stewart.

The JV team returns to action of Thursday, December 26th with they travel to West Chester University to take on an unnamed opponent at 11:15 a.m. for the West Chester University JV Holiday Classic.

Clippers Fall Short in Reading

By Terry Thomas

Chester (3-1) fought back from double digits deficits in both halves only to fall to the Reading (4-1) Red Knights 74-70 at Reading's Geigle Complex. Going scoreless in their first thirteen possessions had the Clippers looking up to a 0-13 score before junior Karell Watkins put up 2 at the 2:05 mark. Baskets from Fareed Burton Jr and Rahmee Gilbert coupled with an old-fashioned 3-point play by Zahmir Carroll and Chester was with 7 at the end of the 1st quarter. Chester - 9, Reading - 16.

With Watkins sitting the entire 2nd quarter in foul trouble, Zahmir Carroll battled hard against the Reading forwards. Their three forwards accounted for 13 of their 14 second quarter points. Meanwhile, senior Faheem Berry came off the bench and sparked the Clippers with 7 of his 8 points. Burton and Carroll each contributed 4 and senior Jahmaige Womack scored 2 of his 4 and the deficit was now four points at the half. Chester - 26, Reading - 30.

While the Clippers continued with their offensive output in the third quarter, their defense was lacking as they allowed the Red Knights to put up 23 points. The Clippers were once again looking up at a double-digit deficit. Chester spread the wealth using five players to produce their 17 third quarter points. Watkins, Gilbert and Akeem Taylor each added four while Carroll and Womack dropped in 3 and 2 respectively. At the end of the quarter it was Chester - 43, Reading - 53.

In the fourth quarter Chester continued to trail by as many as 12 points until Taylor converted a three-point play at 4:21 making the score Chester - 58, Reading - 67. That basket ignited a Clippers 11-2 run that was capped by another Taylor bucket at the 2:40 mark. Chester - 66, Reading - 69. Unfortunately for the Clippers, Taylor would be called for his fifth foul four seconds later making him a cheerleader the rest of the game. He finished the night with 14 points. Reading would push the lead up to 6 before a basket by junior Fareed Burton Jr cut to four, 68-72, with 1:30 showing. Burton would rebound the missed Reading shot and feed Carroll for a bucket and the Clippers now trailed 70-72 with 1:10 remaining.

The Clippers would force a turnover and Reading would call for a timeout with 27.7 remaining. Out of the timeout and still trailing 70-72, Watkins received a pass on the baseline, spun towards the basket but would have his shot blocked causing a jump ball with 21.3 seconds remaining. The possession arrow was in favor of the Red Knights. Clippers junior Lenny Camacho pressured the ball and came up with a steal but his shot attempt fell short at the 8 seconds mark and the Red Knights hauled in the rebound. They were able to knock down two free throws to secure the win.

The Clippers will continue on to the second leg of the road trip with they travel to South Philadelphia on Friday, December 20th to take on the Southern Rams. The JV will tip-off at 5:30 with the Varsity to follow.

Chester's JV is now 2-1 on the season after dropping losing 54-40 to the Reading Red Knights. Lenny Camacho came through with a game and season high of 16 points but it was not enough to overcome the 16 point first half hole the team found itself in. The team continued to fight but several unforced errors halted their comeback attempt. Nasir Madison (9), Yinka Itabiyi (6), William Smith (5) along with two points each from Donziar Ellis and Naeem Scott completed their scoring.