By Terry Thomas ===> The Clippers earned a berth in the State Tournament by sailing past the Bayard Rustin Golden Knights 64-45 at the Clip Joint.
Chester was led by seniors Jordan Camper, Ahrod Carter and Jamar Sudan who each reached double figures with 16, 15 and 12 points respectively. The Clippers once again found themselves trailing at the end of the first quarter by the score of 9-10.
Camper opened the 2nd quarter with a left handed hook shot giving the Clippers the lead at 11-10. That bucket ignited the 8-0 Clippers run which forced a Knights timeout at 5:21, Chester led 17-10. Out of the timeout, junior Brian Randolph III stole a pass and finished with a bucket to complete a 10-0 run. Rustin stopped the bleeding with a trey but Chester responded with a bucket from Carter and another steal and a layup from Randolph to push the lead back to 10 points, 23-13. The Knights answered with a 8-0 run of their own off two treys and a put-back bucket to get within two at 23-21. Sudan would score off an assist from sophomore Michael Smith and Randolph’s two free throw gave the Clippers a 27-23 lead at the intermission.
A Carter floater capped a 13-7 Chester run to start the 3rd quarter forcing the Rustin to take their 3rd timeout at 3:39 and trailing 40-30. The timeout did not slow down the Clippers as Sudan would slice down the lane for a bucket and Smith would score off off an assist from Carter and once again Rustin was calling for a timeout (their 4th) at 2:44. Chester – 44, Rustin – 30. The Clippers maintained their pressure and added 4 more points to their margin with buckets from Carter and Camper. The Knights finally scored on an old fashioned three-point play after which Randolph connected on 1 of 2 free throws for a 49-33 Chester lead at the end of the quarter.
Chester did not let up in the final quarter. A bucket by Sudan, a steal and a layup from senior Jah’meir Springfield, a putback from Camper and another steal and a layup from Springfield had the Knights flustered resulting in them calling their final timeout at 5:58 with the score 57-33. Camper and Sudan would score off an assists from Larry Yarbray Jr and Smith. Camper iced the game with a slam off a missed Carter shot.
Randolph finished the game with 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Sudan and Camper each hauled in 7 rebounds while Camper padded his stat sheet 3 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assist. Smith contributed 6 points and 2 assists. Springfield had a season high 5 steals to go along with his 4 points. Yarbray connected on a trey for his 3 points and junior Timothy Johnston hit 1 of 2 free throws to complete the team’s scoring.
Chester will entertain the Central League’s Springfield Cougars on Friday, March 3rd to determine the District-1’s 5th and 6th seeds in the upcoming State Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.