By Terry Thomas
Karell Watkins celebrated with the “Game Ball” in his locker as his 30-point, 19 rebound performance led the Clippers (6-1) to the easy win over the visiting Bartram Braves, 72-34. His 19 rebounds give him a career total of 702 rebounds becoming just the third member of the 700 club at the high since records have been maintained beginning in the 1992-1993 season. He surpassed Russell Johnson (693) and is three shy of Rahlir Jefferson (705) both members of the 2008 State Championship team. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sits atop the list with 780 rebounds. Watkins was dominate at both ends of the court finishing the contest with 2 assists, 1 blocked shot and a career high 4 steals. Congratulations on a job well done.
With the Clippers hitting from the outside in the opening 8 minutes, Jameel Burton Jr knocked down a couple jumpers and Qadir Lowrie connecting on a trey, it opened the lanes for Watkins to go to work producing 8 points. The Clippers were 3 of 4 from the free-throw line for their 18 points. Chester – 18, Bartram – 13.
Chester picked up their defense in the second quarter limiting Bartram to 7 points on 2 field goals while putting up 22 points of their own. Watkins led with way with 22 points followed by 4 points from Fareed Burton Jr, and two points each from Jameel Burton, Nasir Madison and Larenzo Jerkins. Freshman Kyree Womack rebound a missed Bartram shot and passed a dime to Fareed to cap a 10-0 run at the 3:50 mark, Chester now led 28-13. After the Braves scored, the Clippers would go on an 8-0 run to lead 36-15 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter. At the intermission, it was Chester – 40, Bartram – 20.
The Clippers did not let up coming out of intermission, the back-court of Lowrie and the Burton cousins combined for 8 points and Watkins added another 8 points. Chester’s defense remained relentless holding the Braves to a mere 6 points enacting the “Mercy Rule” at the 2:24 mark leading 54-24. The quarter ended 56-26.
Junior Yinka Itabiyi came off the bench in the fourth quarter scoring his first Varsity points, he drained a trey followed by a short jumper. Naeem Scott Jr also came off the bench to put his name in the scoring column with trey from the right corner. Kyree added 4 points to the total and finished with a career high 4 assists and 7 rebounds. The Clippers once again held the Braves to less than double digit scoring as they doubled them 16-8 for the victory.
The team finished with 14 assists on 27 made baskets and 10 of the 11 players who saw action entered their names in the scoring column. Jameel also matched his career high of 5 rebounds.
Chester returns to league play on Thursday, February 25th with Interboro pays a visit to the Clip Joint for a 5:30 JV tip-off.