by Terry Thomas
Chester continued it’s 2019 winning ways with an easy 67-53 victory over the host Penn Wood Patriots in the “Shoe Box on Essex’s Ave”. It gave the Clippers their 12th win of the year improving their record to 16-4 overall and 9-0 in League play.
Sophomore Karell Watkins and senior Rahmaad DeJarnette combined to score all 20 of the Clippers first quarter points with 11 and 9 respectively. Chester held a 20-16 lead at the end of the quarter. Senior Michael Smith put his print on the first quarter directing the team with 4 assists bring his career total to 236. That number pushed him pass John Linehan; the Clipper Hall of Famer who total 234 assists during his playing days from 1993-96. John went on to have a stellar career at Providence College where he was named the NABC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.
Smith took control offensively in the 2nd quarter scoring 9 of his 13 points thus allowing the Clippers to maintain their 4 point advantage at the half. Chester – 33, Penn Wood – 29.
The third quarter was patented Clippers basketball – strong defense and an offensive outburst. The Clippers like to spread the ball around so it was junior Akeem Taylor Jr’s time to shine. Chester’s ball hawking defense led to Penn Wood’s awful 2 for 17 shooting from the field including 4 blocked shots. Combining the latter with five 3rd quarter steals and the end results was a mire 5 points for the Patriots. Meanwhile, Taylor was scoring from in the paint, mid range and was perfect at the line going 4 for 4. He would score 8 of his 14 points and his team’s lead was now 17 points, 51-34, to close the quarter.
With the Patriots not surrendering just yet, the Clippers kept their sails full and after a bucket by Watkins extended their lead to 63-41 the Patriots finally threw in the towel.
The Clippers ended up with four players in double figures including two with double-doubles. Watkins continued his candidacy for Delco’s Player of the Year with a game highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds. This gives Karell his 11th consecutive and 18th double double out of 20 games. Taylor finished with his 2nd double double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also filled the stat sheet with 2 assists, 1 blocked shot and 1 steal. DeJarnette and Smith completed the double digits scoring with 15 and 13 points. Senior Christian Massena completed the scoring with a bucket in the 4th quarter to go along with his 2 rebounds. The Clippers were able to put up 67 points without the benefit of connecting on a three-point shot. This marks the second time this season that Chester failed to knock down a trey in the game.
The Clippers will complete the regular season on Thursday, February 5th when the celebrate Senior Night at the Clip Joint while playing host to the Academy Park Knights.
Just a note for you historians. If you remember a gentleman by the name of Hank Mann or if you have heard of him and did not get to see him play then I’d recommend you stop by the Clip Joint. Sophomore Karell Watkins is the closest you’re going to get to see a workman in action.