By Terry Thomas

The Chichester Game

The Clipper’s maintained their strangle hold on the Chichester Eagles (3-6) with a 48-44 come from behind victory at the Clip Joint. Chester is now 5-2 overall and 2-0 in Del Val League play. Based off research from Dave Burman, Chester have now won the last 71 straight games against Chichester dating back to January 1987. They have also captured 92 of the last 93 meeting with Chichester’s. Prior to 1987, Chichester’s last win against the Chester was in January 1975.
Chichester started the first quarter playing with the intention to end their drought at the Clip Joint if not for the long-distance shooting of the Clippers. Sophomore Kevin Rucker and senior Yinka Itabiyi connected on 2 and 1 three pointers respectively. Sophomore Larenzo Jerkins add four points including a basket to close out the 1st quarter giving Chester a slim 14-13 lead.
The fatigue from their third game in three days became apparent as the Clippers could not find their mark in the middle two periods. They were limited to just 17 points during that span including a dismal 3 of 10 from the charity stripe. The Eagles on the other hand played like a team on a mission taking advantage of the gift given by Chester. Chester trailed 24-22 at half-time and 31-36 going into the final 8 minutes of play.
Chester started the fourth quarter no different than the previous two with a turnover that Chichester turned into a basket and a 38-31 lead with 7:15 on the clock. The Eagles next possession, Jerkins stole the ball and passed to a sprinting Isaiah Freeman who finished with a layup. With the score Chester now trailing 33-38, Coach Taylor called time-out at 6:38 to refocus his troops. Whatever Coach Taylor said garnered immediate dividends as the Clippers dominated 2 minutes and 38 seconds. Chester patented press and pressure resulted in a 7-0 run capped by another Freeman basket at the 4:00 mark and the Clippers now leading 40-38. After Chichester tied the score at 40, senior Yinka Itabiyi stripped his man and scored giving the Clippers the lead it would not relinquish. The energy the Clippers expended over the previous two nights coupled with their defensive effort in this fourth quarter definitely had an impact on their legs. The outcome was in full display at the free throw line where Chester shot horribly connecting on only 7 of 17 attempts in the 4th quarter. Senior Qadir Lowrie was the bright light saving the evening by scoring Chester final 5 points by knocking down 5 of 6 free throws. Oh, they were his only points in the game. That’s what seniors do.
Tonight’s contest is sort of one for the record books as no Clipper scored in double figures. Isaiah Freeman and Larenzo Jerkins were high man with 9 points each. Freeman filled the stat sheet with a career high 6 assists to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Jerkins did his part with 7 rebounds and a career high 4 steals. Itabiyi scored 7 points, Kevin Rucker and Kyree Womack each contributed 6 points, Breilynd White had 5 points and Terrence Cobb completed the scoring with 1 point.
Chester will hit the highway on Friday to participate in the Hoops for Harmony: Stand Against Racism Showcase at Chambersburg High School. They will face Keystone Academy on Saturday, January 15th at 1:00 pm and Cumberland Valley on Sunday, January 16th at 4:30 pm.
JV GAME SUMMARYChester’s JV rebounded from their loss to Reading with a 54-45 win over the Chichester Eagles. Sophomore Hamza Clay-Goudelock led the way with a game high 16 points including 12 first quarter points where he outscored the entire Chichester team. Chester led 12-8 at the end of the quarter. Sophomore Nazir Berry scored 6 of his 12 points in the second quarter to hold off the Eagles. Chester held a slim 25-23 lead at intermission. Outscoring their opponents, 14-6 in the 3rd quarter, Chester opened a 10-point cushion to lead 39-29 going into the final quarter. 
Chester Scoring: Emmanual Smith (8), Dallas Thompson (7), Ra’Shaad Dorsey (4), Dante Atkinson (4), Ryan Reed (3) 
Freshman Dallas Thompson led the team with 4 assists and 2 steals.  Sophomores Hamza Clay-Goudelock and Jerry Young each hauled in 7 rebounds as well as 2 steals.

Chester’s JV will return to action on Thursday, January 20th with a trip to Glenolden to face the Interboro Bucs.

The Reading Game

Chester falls to 4-2 after coming up short 63-67 against the Reading Red Knights (10-1). Reading ran their offense to perfection in the opening quarter knocking down the open looks for a 23-point outburst including four treys. The Clippers meanwhile could not find their mark from outside and worked the ball inside with sophomore Larenzo Jerkins leading the way with 7 of his team high 15 points. Senior Isaiah Freeman and sophomore Kevin Rucker each contributed a bucket in the paint while sophomore Kyree Womack connected on a trey. Chester trailed 14-23 at the end of the quarter.
The Clippers made the defensive adjustment in the second quarter limiting their guests to one made 3-pointer which enabled them to close the gap by intermission. Chester was able to force turnovers resulting in easy buckets while senior Qadir Lowrie found his shot scoring 5 of his 8 points. Jerkins and Womack each contributed 4 second quarter points. Freeman chipped in 3 points and junior Breilynd White connected on 1 of 2 free throws for Chester’s 17-point production. The Clipper trailed 31-35 at halftime.
The Clippers opened the 3rd quarter with a 6-2 run ignited by White scoring 4 of his 8 points to tie the score at 37 with 6:02 on the clock. Breilynd White rebounded Reading’s missed shot pushing the ball up court connecting with Rucker for a 3-pointer and the Clippers were in front 40-37 with 5:35 to play. It was Chester first lead since they opened the game with a 4-0 start. Reading would recapture the lead and Chester would tie the game at 43 this time on a Lowrie trey at the 3:40 mark. After Womack connects on 1 of 2 free throws, Freeman would be left wide open for a trey and Chester led 47-43 with two minutes left in the quarter. Unable to score on their next three possessions, the teams finished the third stanza dead-locked at 47. Although the gym was sans fans the playoff atmosphere was palpable.
The final quarter started with 3 lead changes before a Freeman free throw tied the score at 55 with 4:17 remaining. A turnover and a missed layup by the Clippers allowed the Red Knight’s a four-point cushion, 55-59, and the lead they would not relinquish. The teams exchanged baskets the remainder of the contest.
Three Clippers finished in double figures, Jerkins (15), Womack (12) and Rucker (11); while Freeman (9), Lowrie (8) and White (8) were close. Jerkins recorded another double-double by hauling in 10 rebounds and Freeman almost had one by cleaning the glass with 13 rebounds. The team distributed the ball recording 13 assists on 25 made baskets.

Chester will complete their three-game home stand with a Del Val League contest on Thursday, January 13th hosting the Chichester Eagles. The JV game tips off at 5:30 pm with the Varsity to follow. You can follow the action at via YouTube or Facebook.
JV GAME SUMMARYChester’s JV falls to 2-2 on the season after a 36-45 setback at the hands of the Reading Red Knights. Sophomores Dante Atkinson and Hamza Clay-Goudelock led the way each scoring 13 points. Freshman Dallas Thompson dropped in 8 points including going 4 of 4 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Nazir Berry completed the scoring with 2 points. The team trailed 10-12 at the end of the first quarter but was outscored 25-12 over the middle two quarters finding themselves in a 22-37 deficit heading into the final quarter. Although they held their opponents to just 8 fourth quarter points, the hole was just too deep to overcome.