Cook-Stephens helps stir up a Chester Charter victory

By Matthew DeGeorge

A fair amount has changed from year two to year three in the life of Chester Charter Scholars Academy’s boys basketball programs. Among the highlights: The school’s name and the team’s coach.

But the most visible change for the Sabers, to augment the across-the-board improvement of a young squad, wore No. 1 Tuesday night. And it’s a prime reason why their first state tournament journey will last until at least the quarterfinals.

The Sabers spanked Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg, 72-55, in the PIAA Class A tournament’s Round of 16 at Bethlehem Liberty High, following the lead of junior point guard Malik Cook-Stephens.

He scored 12 points, part of a balanced offensive output. But he dished a team-high five assists, orchestrating a devastating offense that put the Sabers up 13 points after one quarter on the way to a runaway victory.

“Malik is a great point guard,” forward Damir Baez said. “He can see everything. He can see the whole floor without even looking at you. I love Malik as a point guard. … I just know he’s going to come to me, so I’ve got to be ready and finish.”

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