By Terry Thomas
Chester stays undefeated in the Del Val at 5-0 and 13-3 overall with a 76-65 victory over the Penn Wood Patriots. The Patriots were excited to showcase their new floor but it could not change the outcome. Coach Taylor is now 6-0 against Penn Wood. Akeem Taylor Jr got the Clippers started with 8 of his 18 points in the first quarter keeping the Chester within striking distance. With the Patriots hitting a trey as the quarter closed, the Clippers trailed 13-15.
The Clippers started the 2nd quarter scoring with a three consecutive steals resulting in a 7-0 run giving them the lead 20-15 at the 7:10 mark. Chester would not trail the rest of the contest. With the Patriots starting the quarter with the ball, junior Fareed Burton Jr stole the ball and senior Zahmir Carroll scored off an assist from Taylor. On the Patriots next possession it was Taylor with steal and finished with an old-fashioned three point play. Senior Rahmee Gilbert got in the act with the next steal and finished with a layup. The Clippers used a balanced offensive attack during the quarter with six players accounting for the 19 point production. Karell Watkins and Taylor led the way with 5 points each. Faheem Berry contributed a trey and Burton completed the scoring with a bucket. At the intermission, it was Chester - 32, Penn Wood - 27.
The 3rd quarter was dominated by Watkins on the offensive end with 12 of the Clippers 14 points and Taylor's defensive work of 4 blocked shots and 2 steals. Taylor was also put in the other 2 Chester points. The Clippers now led by seven, 46-39, going into the final quarter.
The Clippers intensity continued into the 4th quarter resulting in a 13-5 run giving them a 59-44 advantage at the 4:45 mark. Chester enjoyed their biggest lead of the game, 62-46, with 3:27 remaining. Again the Clippers used a balanced scoring attack with six players scoring, Watkins led with 10 of his team high 28 points followed by Burton with 8 of his 10. Carroll added 4 becoming the fourth Clipper in double figures with 10. Berry added another 3-pointer and Gilbert top off the scoring with 2 points. The Patriots attempt to slow the game down by putting the Clippers on the free throw failed as Chester hit 13 of 14 free throws in the final 8 minutes.
Watkins recorded another double-double with 12 rebound; he also added 2 assists and 2 steals. To go along with his 18 points, Taylor contributed 7 blocks, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals to his stat sheet. Carroll just missed a double-double with 8 rebounds; he also had 1 block and 1 steal. Junior point guard Burton lit up the stat sheet with 2 assists, 2 blocks, 3 steals and 5 rebounds. High flying Jahmaige Womack came off the bench to record 2 blocked shots.
The team totaled 16 assists on 28 made baskets and 12 blocked shots; it was the 3rd time this season they totaled double digits blocks.
The Clippers continue their road trip on Tuesday, January 28th when they travel to Sharon Hill to take on the Academy Park Knights in Del Val League action. The JV will tip-off at 5:30 with the Varsity to follow.
JV GAME RECAP
For the first time this season, the Chester JV has loss back-to-back games falling 39-51 to the Patriots. The team started slow trailing 15-28 at the half and did not recover. Lenny Camacho was the lone double digit scorer with 13 points. The team's inability to hit free throws in the fourth quarter, 3 of 12, allowed the Patriots maintain their lead.