Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Chester Shuts Down Haverford

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers (20-3) advanced to the District-1 Quarterfinals by shutting down the Haverford Fords 64-44 at the Clip Joint. The Fords entered the contest having won 11 of their last 12 games while the Clippers were riding an 8-game winning streak. Chester displayed strong man-to-man defense for 32 minutes and did not allow a single Haverford scorer to reach double figures. The Fords had three players with 8 points as their team high. Akeem Taylor Jr's primary defensive responsibility was to shut down Haverford's leading scoring John Seidman who entered the contest with a 17.6 ppg average. He would score all 8 of his points in the first half.

On the other hand, with junior Fareed Burton Jr recovering from an injury, senior Faheem Berry made the most of his starter’s minutes draining four treys in the first half to open thing up for the Clippers. With Berry hitting from long range it opened the floor for the Clippers to dominate inside the paint. Berry finished the night with a career high of 16 points off a career high five 3-point field goals; one of which included a four-point play in the 4th quarter. Chester led 12-8 after the first quarter.

With Berry and Akeem Taylor Jr hitting threes, it opened the lane for drives by Zahmir Carroll, Taylor and junior Karell Watkins. Taylor scored 7 of his 11 points in the period. Carroll added a bucket and with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter Watkins dropped in his 10th point of the game and the 1,001st of his career. Karell becomes the 32nd male member of Chester's exclusive 1000 Point Club. With PIAA rules prohibiting stopping the contest, the announcement was made as the team's were exiting the floor for halftime intermission. Chester now led 35-21.

In the Clippers locker room, the score was posted as 0-0 and Watkins started the 3rd quarter as if it was a continuation of the 2nd. He dropped in 8 more of his game high 20 points. As he had done during the regular season, he produced another double-double with 10 rebounds. Zahmir Carroll used his size and quickness to put in 5 of his 9 points and senior Rahmee Gilbert went 2 for 2 from the line. Gilbert finished the game with 4 points, 3 assist, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. The end results saw the Clippers lead grow to 15 points, 50-35 at the conclusion of the 3rd quarter.

During the fourth quarter JV call-ups - sophomores Nasir Madison and Jermere Clark - added their names to the scoring column with their first 2 Varsity points. Madison with a put-back off a missed shot and Clark with a left-handed finger roll.

In this his 3rd season at the helm for the Clippers, tonight's win earned Coach Taylor his 2nd 20-win season and his 3rd State Tournament appearance.

The Clippers will return to action on Friday, February 21st when then host the Lower Merion Aces. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Chester Celebrates Senior Night

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers closed the regular season by celebrating the senior players and cheerleaders and reaching the century mark on the score board with a 110-76 triumph over the visiting Christiana Vikings. The senior accumulated 68 points with Akeem Taylor Jr leading the way with his Chester career high of 27 points. He also accounted for 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Fellow seniors Rahmee Gilbert, Zahmir Carroll and Faheem Berry joined him in double figures all scoring 11 points. Senior J'shon Lawler got the opportunity to start in his final game at the Clip Joint in place of junior Karell Watkins and finished with 5 points. The remaining senior on the roster, Jahmaige Womack, scored 5 points in his final game on the Fred Pickett Jr Court.

The Clippers put up 27 points in each of the first two quarters for a 54-34 lead at the half.

Junior Karell Watkins made his presence felt in the 3rd quarter scoring 14 of his 27 points. Taylor dropped in 9, Carroll and Berry each supplied 4 points and Womack connect on 1 of 2 free throws. The end results were a 32 points outburst; the Clippers highest quarter point production of the season.

In the 4th quarter, junior Lenny Camacho added 5 points including the trey at the 5 minutes mark that put the Clippers over the century mark, 101-66. Camacho finished with 8 points on the night. Junior Shaquan Horsey put up 4 points and sophomore Donziar Ellis completed the scoring with 3 points. All ten of the Clippers that played scored.

The Clippers finished the season with a record of 19-3 and will now await Sunday's announcement of the final standings for the District-1 Tournament. When the bracket is released, Chester will be seeded in the Top 8 and earn a first round bye and a home game on Tuesday, February 18th.

The Chester JV ended their season with a 14-4 record after easily disposing of the Vikings by the score of 61-22. The game was never in doubt as the Clippers enjoyed a 14-4 lead after the first quarter.  And, after a 25-1 performance in the 2nd led 39-5 at halftime. Naeem Scott Jr led the team in that quarter scoring 12 of his game high 14 points. He was the lone Clipper in double figures with eight others adding to the team's point total: Nasir Madison (9), Keenan Warren (9), Lenny Camacho (8), Donziar Ellis(6), Jermere Clark (6), Kareen Devore (4), William Smith (3) and Edward Harmon (2).

It was a clean sweep for the Clippers as the Freshman team also dominated the Vikings with a 57-37 win.

Chester Cruises Past Interboro

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers started fast with a 23-3 outburst and never let up, cruising to 81-27 victory over the host Interboro Bucs. With the win Chester is now 18-3 overall and finishes as undefeated (8-0) Del Val League Champions. This marks the third consecutive year they reign as undefeated champions.

With normal starters Fareed Burton Jr and Karell Watkins not suited up, the senior backcourt of Rahmee Gilbert and Akeem Taylor Jr stepped up in the 1st quarter producing 7 points apiece to lead the way. Fellow senior Zahmir Carroll who was also nursing a minor injury made the most of his limited playing time with 5 points and 3 rebounds in the first quarter. Gilbert would finish the evening with 11 points, 4 assist and 2 rebounds.

Being shorthanded, Taylor served as the stabilizer for the bench who were now getting starters minutes. Taylor served the Bucs with 17 of his 24 game high points in the middle two quarters. His points matched his season high. Junior 6'7" forward Shaquan Horsey took advantage of his opportunity with starters minutes producing his first double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds both career highs. He also rejected a career high 5 shots. He displayed consistency spreading his numbers over all four quarter. J'shon Lawler came off the bench and dropped in 5 second quarter points as the Clippers took a 47-13 lead into intermission.

Senior 6'4" forward Jahmaige Womack started the third quarter in place of Zahmir Carroll and entertained the crowd with 10 high flying points. He also hauled in 4 rebounds and finished the night with a career high 12 points. Taylor added 8 points, Horsey with 4 and Gilbert floated 2 points as the Mercy Rule was in play. Chester led 71-23 at the end of the quarter.

In the final 8 minutes of play, sophomore 6'4" guard Donziar Ellis gave the crowd a glimpse of what the future could hold using his length to set a career high of 4 steals which he converted into his career high 8 points. Ellis also had 1 blocked shot and 2 rebounds.

The Clippers will return to the Clip Joint on Thursday, February 6th to close out the regular season when they host Christiana (DE). There will be a triple header - Freshman, JV and Varsity - on that day with the Freshman tipping off at 4:00 followed by the JV and then the Varsity.

All nine Clippers who saw action entered the scoring column as Chester won easily - 70-20. Four were in double figures, Yinka Itabiyi (13), Lenny Camacho (12) and Nasir Madison and Keenan Warren each scored 10 points. Donziar Ellis just missed double figures with 9 points followed by William Smith (6), Edward Harmon (5), Naeem Scott Jr (3) and Jermere Clark (2). The Clippers were up 44-12 at the half.