by Terry Thomas

Karell Watkins celebrated with the “Game Ball” in his locker as his 30-point, 19 rebound performance led the Clippers (6-1) to the easy win over the visiting Bartram Braves, 72-34. His 19 rebounds give him a career total of 702 rebounds becoming just the third member of the 700 club at the high since records have been maintained beginning in the 1992-1993 season. He surpassed Russell Johnson (693) and is three shy of Rahlir Jefferson (705) both members of the 2008 State Championship team. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sits atop the list with 780 rebounds. Watkins was dominate at both ends of the court finishing the contest with 2 assists, 1 blocked shot and a career high 4 steals. Congratulations on a job well done.

With the Clippers hitting from the outside in the opening 8 minutes, Jameel Burton Jr knocked down a couple jumpers and Qadir Lowrie connecting on a trey, it opened the lanes for Watkins to go to work producing 8 points. The Clippers were 3 of 4 from the free-throw line for their 18 points. Chester – 18, Bartram – 13.
Chester picked up their defense in the second quarter limiting Bartram to 7 points on 2 field goals while putting up 22 points of their own. Watkins led with way with 22 points followed by 4 points from Fareed Burton Jr, and two points each from Jameel Burton, Nasir Madison and Larenzo Jerkins. Freshman Kyree Womack rebound a missed Bartram shot and passed a dime to Fareed to cap a 10-0 run at the 3:50 mark, Chester now led 28-13. After the Braves scored, the Clippers would go on an 8-0 run to lead 36-15 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter. At the intermission, it was Chester – 40, Bartram – 20.

The Clippers did not let up coming out of intermission, the back-court of Lowrie and the Burton cousins combined for 8 points and Watkins added another 8 points. Chester’s defense remained relentless holding the Braves to a mere 6 points enacting the “Mercy Rule” at the 2:24 mark leading 54-24. The quarter ended 56-26.
Junior Yinka Itabiyi came off the bench in the fourth quarter scoring his first Varsity points, he drained a trey followed by a short jumper. Naeem Scott Jr also came off the bench to put his name in the scoring column with trey from the right corner. Kyree added 4 points to the total and finished with a career high 4 assists and 7 rebounds. The Clippers once again held the Braves to less than double digit scoring as they doubled them 16-8 for the victory.

The team finished with 14 assists on 27 made baskets and 10 of the 11 players who saw action entered their names in the scoring column. Jameel also matched his career high of 5 rebounds.
Chester returns to league play on Thursday, February 25th with Interboro pays a visit to the Clip Joint for a 5:30 JV tip-off.

JV GAME SUMMARYWith Bartram not fielding a JV team, the Clippers penciled in the Chester Charter Scholars Academy Sabers for the afternoon. The Clippers routed the Sabers to the tune of 71-40. It was a complete team victory as 11 of the 13 players scored in the contest. The freshmen led with Larenzo Jerkins and Kevin Rucker each scoring 13 points and Dante Payne joined them in double figures with 10 points. Kyree Womack added 5, Andre Brown chipped in with 4, Dominic Toy and Vince Coleman each put up 6 giving the “Freshman” a total of 57 points. Yinka Itabiyi chimed in with 8 points, Samaad Powell and Karon Wilson each knocked down a free-throw. Sophomore Tahkwel Walker completed the scoring with 4 points.

The Sabers are coached by Clippers Alum Tahir Lowrie a member of the 1994-1995 Back-to-Back Del Val and 1995 District-1 Championship teams. One of his team-mates is the current Chester JV Coach, Kenny Tate.


Chester rebounded from its loss to Imhotep with a 55-51 victory over Del Val League foe Penn Wood Patriots. Senior point guard Fareed Burton Jr led the way with five rebounds and a game high 18 points. The Burton cousins, Fareed and Jameel, combined to score 9 of Chester’s 13 first quarter points scoring 5 and 4 respectively. Jameel also scored in double figures with 13 points and filled the stat sheet with 5 steals, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. Junior Isaiah Freeman (10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal) and senior Karell Watkins each scored a bucket to give the Clippers a 13-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Freshman Kyree Watkins who just celebrated his 16th birthday on Monday connected on two treys in the second quarter to hold off the charging Patriots. Kyree total seven points in the contest.The Burton cousins contributed 6 with Freeman and Watkins completing the teams scoring. The Patriots drew closer but trailed 28-26 at the intermission.

There was no flow to the game in the second half as the officials became the stars blowing their whistles to the tune of 30 team fouls, 13 against the Clippers and 17 against the Patriots. Chester shot 28 free throws and Penn Wood shot 22. Chester connected on 9 of 11 free throw with freshman Larenzo Jerkins hitting 3 of 4, Fareed, Jameel and Freeman each went 2 of 2. Jameel and Watkins each scored on put-backs and the Clippers expanded the lead to five points, 41-36, at the end of the period. After scoring just 2 points in their first seven possessions in the final quarter, a free throw from Freeman gave the Clippers a one possession lead, 43-40, with 4:06 on the clock. Fareed came up big in the final 4 minutes of the contest scoring 9 points and connecting on 5 of 7 free throws to put his team up 53-45 with 21.4 second remaining in the game. Up to that point Penn Wood had not scored a field goal in the 4th quarter, all nine of their points came from the charity stripe. Their final six points were on two treys.

Fareed Burton Jr finished 7 of 9 from the free throw line, Jameel Burton Jr went 7 of 8, Isaiah Freeman hit on 4 of 6 and finished with 6 points. Nasir Madison contributed a fourth quarter buck and Karell Watkins chipped in with 6 points and 10 rebounds. Larenzo Jerkins added 3 rebounds and a blocked shot to his stat sheet.
With tonight’s win the Clippers are now 4-0 in Del Val League play and will travel to Boothwyn on Thursday to take on the Chichester Eagles. JV tip-off is slated for 5:30 with the Varsity to follow.

JV GAME SUMMARY The Chester JV avenged an early season loss, 50-51, to Penn Wood by returning the favor on their home court with a 66-53 victory. Freshman Kevin Rucker had an outstanding evening scoring 32 points including connecting on 20 of 21 free throws including his final 19 attempts. Fellow freshman Larenzo Jerkins along with junior Yinka Itabiyi joined Rucker in double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively. The Clippers trailed 15-16 at the end of the first quarter but pulled away to lead 36-26 at halftime. And never trailed again. Chester scorers: Samaad Powell (5), Kyree Womack (3), Dominic Toy (3), Dante Payne (1) and Hamza Clay-Goudelock (1)