by Terry Thomas

The Chester Clippers (13-2) season came to a crashing end after a 63-84 defeat at the hands of the Archbishop Ryan Raiders at the Clip Joint. The loss in the State Tournament Semi-finals snapped the Clippers eight game win streak and their hopes for a ninth State Championship.

Chester was looking up at the Raiders from start to finish. The Raiders opened the contest by saving the ball from going out of bounds and capped the play off with a back-door alley-oop. Chester trailed 9-15 at the end of the first quarter. They were frigid from outside shooting 2 of 13 including 0 of 5 from behind the arc. Karell Watkins led the Clippers with 4 points.

The Clippers continued their cold shooting in the second quarter and their defense provided no support as the Raiders scored at will. Watkins scored 7 of his 15 points but the team could only manage eleven 2nd quarter points as Ryan increased their lead to 13 at the intermission. Chester – 20, Archbishop Ryan – 33.

In the third quarter, the Clippers experienced a role reversal when the Raiders counter their every move and pushed their lead to 18 points to end the quarter. The Clippers had no answer for the Raiders duo of Aaron Lemon-Warren and Christian Tomasco who combined for 20 of 22 third quarter points. Warren with 12 and Tomasco with 8. The Clippers did put-up 17 points but could never close the gap. Chester trailed 37-55 entering the final quarter.

The Chester back-court of Fareed Burton Jr and Kyree Womack finally began to hit shots but it was too little – too late. They each knocked down two treys with Fareed finishing the quarter with 17 of his team high 27 points. Qadir Lowrie added a bucket and Isaiah Freeman connected on 1 of 2 free throw for Chester’s 26 points. Meanwhile on the other end of the court, the Warren-Tomasco duo was at it again combining for 23 of their 29 fourth quarter points. Lemon-Warren finished with a game high 36 points and Tomasco complemented him with 26 points. 

With only 5 assists in the game, this marks the third consecutive game the Clippers recorded 6 assists or less; coming off a 20-assist game against Phoenixville in the District-1 Tournament Semi-finals.

I will take this opportunity to personally thank Terry Thomas for providing the game recaps for every game this season and I appreciate the coverage of JV games as well. I thank Jean Pierre Brice for bringing us live broadcasts of the game on and for Dave Burman for stepping in at playoff time to bring his professional style of commentating.

And, to the coaches, staff, players, and cheerleaders, congratulations on another magnificent season. You made us all proud with your undefeated run through league play and your District 1 championship.

In this year of Covid where most of us – including me – were robbed of the opportunity to see a live game for the first time in our life time, thanks to all of you, we were still able to enjoy the Chester Clippers on this blog, our mobile devices, laptops, and home TVs.

Let’s hope everything is back to normal by December so we can do it the way it’s supposed to be done.

Stefan Roots