By Dave Burman – Special to Delcohoops.com
The Clippers (11-3) needed everyone of senior Mahir Johnson’s career high 36 points for their come from behind 78-72 victory over the Capital Christian Academy Warriors.
Mahir’s heroics earned him game MVP honors. Mahir scored Chester’s first five points followed by a free throw from sophomore Khaleeq Campbell and a trey from senior Tyrell Sturdivant and the Clippers were out to a 9-1 lead when the Warriors called for a timeout. The Warriors responded by outscoring the Clippers 8-4 to close out the quarter. Clippers – 13, Warriors – 9.
The Clippers must have run aground in the opening minutes of the second quarter as the Warriors were able to capture every loose ball and every missed shot which resulted in Chester on the short end of a 16-0 run. When Chester called timeout at the 5:12 mark they found themselves trailing 13-25.
Out of the timeout the Clippers began to attack the basket resulting in free throw attempts. Mahir hit on 3 of 4, Khaleeq went 2 of 2 along with a trey and freshman Jamar Sudan also went 2 for 2. One more free throw from Sturdivant and the Clippers had cut the deficient to four at the intermissions. Chester – 26, Capitol Christian Academy – 30.
The Warriors Marcquise Reed got hot in the 3rd quarter scoring the final 12 of his team high 21 points as they doubled Chester’s 13 points. The Clippers were now looking up out of a 17 point hole at the end of the third quarter. Clippers – 39, Warriors – 56.
The Warriors were so confident at this point that they did not spend any time in discussions during the break between quarters. They went to the bench area (never sat down) and just as quickly returned to the floor. The teams matched baskets and the Warriors called for a timeout at 5:44. Chester – 45, Capital Christian Academy – 62. The Clippers responded with a 7-1 run over the next 1:13 when Chester calls for a timeout at 4:31. Clippers – 52, Warriors – 64.
Over the next 3 minutes and 38 seconds it was all about the Clippers. They increased their defensive intensity forcing 6 turnovers and total domination on the board. During this stretch, sophomore Marquise Collins contributed four points, Sturidvant added the final 8 of his 17 points and Mahir did the rest. When Coach Yarbray called his final timeout at 0:53, the Clippers now trailed by just four points 72 – 68 with momentum on their side.
Out of the time, the Warriors were called for consecutive traveling violations resulting in a trey and a short pull-up by Mahir. The Warriors called timeout at 0:14 on the clock and the Clippers back in front 73-72.
Over the last fourteen seconds, Chester ended up with 3 possession and connected on 5 of 6 free throws to complete the scoring. Over the final 53 seconds of the contest Chester finished with a 10-0 run. The sharp shooting Johnson ended up with 22 points in the final quarter; outscoring the entire Warriors team who had 16 points. The real end results was a more enjoyable ride back up I-95.