By Terry Thomas
The Clippers (11-1) cruised to the District-1 5A Championship game with an easy 73-40 win over the Phoenixville Phantoms. Chester will face 4th-seeded Bayard Rustin of the Chesmont League, who earned their spot with a 68-56 victory over 8th-seeded Unionville. The game will be play at the Clip Joint on Tuesday, March 16th with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will be streamed live on Facebook/YouTube via CMPRadio.net.
Senior Jameel Burton Jr led the charge for Chester with career highs of 21 points and 6 assists. The reigning Delaware County Player of the Year did not disappoint the home crowd adding another double-double to his resume with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Clippers strayed away from what made them successful by putting up long distance shots as opposed to feeding the post. Jameel drained 5 points and Fareed Burton Jr added 4 from distance with Watkins dropping in one basket in the paint. Chester remained patience defensively giving up 3 field goals. However, two of the three were from 3-point range which kept the Phantom close in the opening quarter. Chester – 11, Phoenixville – 8.
In the second quarter Jameel exploited the Phantoms attempt at man-to-man defense scoring 8 points. Meanwhile, freshman Kyree Womack came off the bench taking advantage of kick-outs for 5 of his 7 points. Watkins added 4 of Chester’s 17 second quarter points. The Clippers fell asleep allowing the Phantoms open looks from the 3-point line which they were able to connect. Three of their four field goals were treys as they produced 12 second quarter points staying with 10 of the Clippers at intermission. Chester – 28, Phoenixville – 20.
The third quarter was typical Clipper’s basketball; they clamped down defensively and worked inside the paint. Chester only gave up two field goals in the 3rd quarter and Phoenixville struggled at the free throw line connecting on 5 of 9 shots resulting in their 10 points. The Clippers meanwhile pulled away as the Phantoms had no answer for 6’7″ Shaquan Horsey. Horsey dropped in 6 of his season-high 11 points and pulled down 5 of his season-high 10 rebounds in the quarter. The Clippers were knocking down jump shots which opened the lanes for Horsey to work inside along with Watkins. Fareed, Kyree and Isaiah Freeman each contributed baskets during the run. At the end of the quarter Chester was up 45-30.
The fourth quarter started with a patented Chester run. The Clippers threw several presses at the Phantom that took their legs away and led to easy transition baskets for Chester. Watkins scored 12 of his 20 points in the quarter including a feed from Jameel with 2:10 remaining that gave the Clippers a 68-38 lead invoking the “Mercy Rule”. Horsey added 5 points in the period including a two-handed dunk. Senior Keenan Warren came off the bench to score 2 points and freshman Larenzo Jerkins connected on 1 of 2 free-throws. They each contributed two rebounds to their stat sheet. In all the post players for Chester scored 20 of their 28 fourth quarter points. Jameel and Fareed finished with quarter with 6 and 2 points respectively.
The Clippers finished the night with 20 assists on 31 made field goals.
Chester’s Scorers: Jameel Burton Jr – 21, Karell Watkins – 20, Shaquan Horsey – 11, Fareed Burton Jr – 9, Kyree Womack – 7, Isaiah Freeman – 2, Keenan Warren – 2, Larenzo Jerkins – 1