Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chester defeats Bayard Rustin heading to District Championship Friday at VU

Chester will get the chance to defend its District-1 Championship on Friday, February 28th with a convincing 72-56 decision over the Bayard Rustin Golden Knights. 

Senior shooting guard Mahir Johnson took control in the first quarter scoring Chester's first 9 points and after a trey from junior Keyonte Watkins the Knights were looking at a 12-4 deficit at the 2:40 mark. Another basket from Johnson and a sweet left handed finger roll from sophomore Marquis Collins and the Clippers held a 16-8 lead after one. 

The Clippers one-two punch of Johnson and 6'8' Stony Brook signee Tyrell Sturdivant were too much for Rustin in the 2nd quarter. The duo combined for 19 of the Clippers 20 points as they pushed their lead to 16 points at the half. Chester 36, Rustin - 20. As Johnson was dropping jumpers and hitting foul shots for 9 more points, Sturdivant was patrolling the paint at both ends of the floor. In the second quarter he converted 3 offensive rebounds into 6 points, drained a trey and connected on 1 of 2 free throws. Defensively he blocked three shots and ran away with one steal. 

After holding their opponents to just five made field goals in the first half with no threes, the Clippers were a step slow in guarding the three point line in the third, allowing the Knights to connect on 6 field goals including 4 treys resulting in a 19 point quarter for Rustin. Meanwhile, Chester's offensive was stronger still producing 21 points as they pushed ahead 57-39 to end the quarter. Sophomore Khaleeg Campbell added his name to the scoring column by hitting two treys in the 3rd while Johnson and Sturdivant combined for 13 points including hitting on 8 of 8 free throw attempts. Senior Conrad Chambers spun his way to the rim for a basket to go along with his 5 assists on the night. 

The Golden Knights strategy of fouling Chester in the fourth quarter did not work as expected. While the Clippers were held without a field goal, they did however connect on 15 of 20 foul shots. The teams combined to shoot 63 foul shots (Chester was 30 for 38 and Rusting was 18 for 25). Chester's height advantage was shown as they tied the newly established blocked shots record with 16. Gabe Adesina led the Clippers with a career high 6 blocked shots and even though he did not score a points the 6'8" forward also made his presence felt with 6 rebounds. 

Johnson finished the evening with a game high 29 points while Sturdivant added another double-double to his resume with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Khaleeq Campbell totaled 8 points and Chambers contributed 7 by going 5 of 6 from the line in the 4th. Watkins four points and Collins's three points completed the scoring for the Clippers. 

The #2 seeded Chester Clippers (21-5) will return to Villanova on Friday evening for a 9:00 tip-off against the #5 seeded Pennsbury Falcons, a 58-36 winner over #1 seeded Conestoga, for the 2014 District-1 Championship. 

Terry Thomas