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January 2, 2012
Chester Over CK; Philly Over NYC
CHESTER, PA - The game of the night featured two outstanding players that would go toe to toe and show why they belonged with the best of the best. Chester would up quickly out the gate with some great intensity and the Christ the King Royals would match it back with their own intensity on defense.
Nationally ranked Chester (PA) would pull away and win 65-53. The victory gave Philly 3-2 advantage and an overall win for the first time in the classic.
Junior WG Rondae Jefferson (18 points 12 rebounds) and senior Guard Omar Calhoun (24 points 5 assists), would both show up huge for their teams in their own way. Junior guard Isaiah Lewis (9 points 4 rebounds) would played hard in the first quarter, scoring 6 points and playing some hard defense.
Jefferson would attack the rim repeatedly and got to the line quite a bit in the first quarter and Chester would lead 14-11 to start the second.
Christ the King's best ball handler was junior guard Jon Severe but he would be briefly sideline with a bloody lip. As a result, CTK squandered opportunity to take a lead because of the consistent turnovers by the other guards who tried and handle the ball.
Chester would pressure the Royals backcourt but early on could not covert on easy transition plays. Severe would join the team back with a little over a minute left and it would show a huge difference when they would get a few good layups and he would bring the defensive pressure on Chester's point guard. CTK would come within 1 at half, trailing 27-26.
In the 3rd quarter, CTK that would tie the game up early with some quick layups and their own full court pressure. The game would be tied until Chester would knock down a shot to put them ahead, and then Jefferson would steal the ball and get a wide open windmill dunk to excite the crowd and put Chester up 4.
With a little over a minute left in the 3rd, the Chester lead would finally get over 6 points for the first time. Chester would take that lead and make it 8 by the end of the quarter.
Starting the fourth quarter, Lewis and Calhoun would begin to make their own plays and get the rest of the team involved. With their man-to-man full court press and full court zone press, Christ the King would get the lead down to 4 but that would be about it.
Chester would put the ball in the hands of Jefferson and he would create opportunities for his team to win the game.
"I played pretty good but I had the turnovers and missed free throws," said Jefferson. "We played as team and we increased our defense intensity in the 3rd and 4th quarter as we always have".
"No matter what happened during the game we were going to be fighters," said Chester head Coach Larry Yarbray. "This is a great victory and it was all about the little things at the end of the game that the team did to win. Even though we are 8-0, every game is boost and a learning experience for a future."