Chester has hands full with a Reading rematch

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By Matthew De George

Two and a half months have elapsed since Chester, in search of its customarily rigorous nonleague slate, took the inter-district trip to Reading Dec. 23.

Both teams have evolved since that 69-57 triumph by the Red Knights at the Geigle Complex. That growth portends a compelling renewal of acquaintances in Saturday’s PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal at Temple University’s Liacouras Center at noon.

The teams that collided back in December were both undeniably talented and figured to factor into the PIAA’s March picture, Chester first needing to banish an uncharacteristically boisterous chorus of doubters after last season’s rare failure to qualify for states. But neither squad had quite figured things out yet.

While the game failed to serve as a turning point for either, that juncture lay just around the bend.

Reading would lose its next outing against Maryland’s Clinton Christian, compounding losses to Coatesville and Archbishop Wood two weeks earlier. Since, the Red Knights (27-3) have rattled off 22 straight wins. Only twice in that streak — against Conestoga, then Carlisle in the District 3 tournament — has an opponent gotten within single digits, both in overtime contests. The next nearest scrape was an 11-point triumph over Central York in the District 3 final.

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