CHESTER/PENN WOOD: A SECOND GLANCE AT THE TEAMS' FIRST MEETING OF YEAR
The first one is in the books.
While we have to wait until Feb. 2 for the rematch, Chester's 69-43 dismantling of Penn Wood had a few wrinkles. Firstly, it wasn't nearly as bad as the final score would indicate. But there's much more to the game than just the final score. Have a look:
****Chester officials gave me a reason for why junior Rondae Jefferson (pictured, above) missed last Thursday night's game against Interboro. "He was dehydrated. He went to the hospital," I was told. Well, Jefferson didn't waste any more time. He's averaging 11 points in the three games since his return.
****Jefferson brought the crowd to its feet on three straight trips up the floor, with electric dunks. None was better than the one served up by Darius Robinson (pictured, left).
****Penn Wood's gym, always cramped, was especially tight with The Comcast Network's camera scaffolding - at midcourt and in the Southeast corner.
****Villanova coach Jay Wright, after noticing his likeness was on live television, winked into the camera. A rare night in which Jay was not livid.
****In case you didn't notice, Chester had new uniforms. I heard UnderArmour sent a shipment of the new gear - which included socks, shoes and everything they could slap their logo on - arrived just in time for Tuesday's game.
****After Tymier Butler swatted Penn Wood shots on successive possessions, a Chester fan exclaimed, "Not in our house. Wait, and not in your house either."
****How deep is Chester's varsity roster? At one point in the JV game that preceded the varsity tilt, a fan asked former Chester coach Fred Pickett why sophomore forward Diamonte Reason, who scored all 14 points in the JV Clips' 14-0 third-quarter swing, wasn't on varsity. Pickett's reply? "There's no room," he said.
"We know, to beat them, we have to take care of all our details. We gave up 21 offensive rebounds. … There’s no way for us to (win). We don’t score enough to counter that. We had 17 rebounds for the game. I saw my stats. You don’t rebound, you’re not going to beat them."
---Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones
“We’ve been coming out (slowly) the last couple games. That means we’ve got to get better. We’ve got some work."
---Chester senior Erikk Wright of his 14-0 team
“It feels real good to blow them out like that. They’re the only team people come to see when we play and all that."
---Chester senior Richard Granberry, pictured
“In our league you’ve got to beat Penn Wood and Glen Mills. … Any team can beat any team, but we don’t want to be that team."
---Chester coach Larry Yarbray
FACES IN THE CROWD
For a game that permitted only 400 into the building, the usual suspects were there. Chester All-Delcos Maurice Nelson and Lamon Church from the 2010-11 PIAA Class AAAA championship team, were in the building. Penn Wood's Dequan Pelzer, from the 2008-09 PIAA title team, was there, as well. Villanova's Jay Wright, and Seton Hall assistant coach Shaheen Holloway also made a showing.
(Times staff photos / ROBERT J. GURECKI)