By Rob Knox
The story of Chester’s 2014-15 season can be summed up in the final 20 seconds.
Moments before Coatesville’s Keenan Coleman sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds remaining, Chester’s Keyonte Watkins almost had a game-clinching steal. He tried tightwalking the sideline and unfortunately stepped out of bounds with 19 seconds left, which gave Coatesville another offensive opportunity trailing by a point.
When Watkins’ 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the rim, 11th-seeded Chester’s season was finished with a 57-55 defeat to 14th-seeded Coatesville in a PIAA Class AAAA District One consolation round contest at the Clip Joint Friday night.
As Coatesville players and fans exploded onto the floor in celebration, several impressive streaks came to a stunning end. Among them, the Clippers’ 70-game, 35-year homecourt playoff winning streak. Chester’s last home playoff loss was a 52-48 defeat to Dion Irons and Springfield in 1980. The Clippers had defeated 37 different District One opponents during their streak.
In addition, Chester will be a spectator when the Class AAAA state playoffs begin in three weeks for the first time since 1992. Furthermore, this was Coatesville’s first victory over Chester since a 63-45 triumph in the 2001 PIAA Eastern Final.
“It was a pretty rough season,’ Chester head coach Larry Yarbray said. “We were really inconsistent throughout the season and it showed in our play at times. Even to the very end tonight. We had a lot of opportunities to win the game. They made their shot at the end of the game, a costly 3-pointer.’