Sunday, February 23, 2014

My 2nd trip to the Clip Joint - Abington vs Chester

I attended the Abington vs Chester District 1 quarter-final game at Chester High School on Friday night and it was quite a game.

Chester displayed suffocating defense and scored many of their points on transition baskets from their full court and inbound pressure. The star of the game was Tyrell Sturdivant who played like a man possessed. Back to the game in a moment.

I gave up my usual seat in the loyal fan section to get a seat near the action over on celebrity row. I sat right behind comic Jay Da Kid, in front of superintendent Gregory Shannon and several of his top administrators, besides the pretty Chester girls on my right and the fly Chester guys on my left who I’ll label as the student section. 

But nothing compares to the Abington student section who commandeered a flight of bleachers under the basket wearing their team colors, face paint, and standing, singing and shouting the entire game. Now that’s what a student section should look like. 

Back to the game.

Chester made the first basket on a 3 by Mahir Johnson and kept the pressure on Abington all night long taking them out of their game. When Abington looked like they were making a run late in the game, coach Yarbray called time out and must have said the right things because Chester’s defense went on lock down once again. 

Tyrell Sturdivant pretty much scored at will. He battled inside with layouts, put backs and offensive layups and even launched a World B Free looking 3-pointer from the top of the key. 

But, the play of the game came in the first half as an Abington big got the ball on the baseline about 6 feet from the basket and situated himself to throw down a one handed windmill dunk. At the peak of his nearly 13 foot extension, he was met at the apex by Sturdivant who cleanly disseminated the attempt with one of the most impressive blocks I’ve ever seen on any level. I got out my seat on that one. Wow!

Sturdivant is interesting to watch. At times I wonder if he is one of those guys who had a late growth spurt and is still learning how his new body works as a big man. His foot work and coordination seem clumsy at times but his deceptive quickness under the basket makes up for it. And he has the prettiest foul shot you’ll find anywhere. When he lets it go, you can count to 10 before the high arcing shot is ultimately forced down by gravity hitting nothing but net. (8 for 8 that night).

Sitting close to the court, I couldn’t help to notice that Chester is one of quietest basketball teams I’ve ever seen. They play in absolute silence. We’re used to a floor general or two barking out stuff, but this team is mute. 

I’m looking forward to seeing them on Tuesday at Temple.

No comments:

Post a Comment