CHESTER — Prior to Thursday’s contest, the Chester boys already knew that they would finish as the No. 2 seed in Region 4-AAA.
The Cyclones also knew that Chapman, which defeated Chester, 103-102, in double overtime in an earlier meeting, had clinched the league championship.
But that did not prevent the Cyclones from playing with added motivation in the regular-season finale in a rematch with the Panthers.
“These guys were determined not to let Chapman go through the regular season undefeated in the region,” Chester coach Sebastian Hopkins said. “We also want to gain momentum going into the playoffs.”
Sure enough, the Cyclones accomplished their mission of putting a blemish in Chapman’s region record with a 90-56 blowout victory at the Chester High School gymnasium.
The Cyclones, 13-8 and 8-2 in the region, burned the nets with nine three-pointers and were able to put the contest out of reach with a 34-10 romp in the second quarter.
Leading 20-15 after one quarter, Chester opened with the first 12 points of the second. Shyheim Wilson and John Gore ignited the surge with consecutive three-pointers.
Talin Bonds scored on a lay-in for the first Panther points in the second quarter, but Chester responded with nine unanswered points for a 41-17 lead. Panther guard Shawn McMillian sank a three-pointer, but Chester maintained the pressure with another 9-0 spurt.
Terrance Morris and John Gore scored on consecutive offensive rebounds; Tommy Sanders buried a deep three-pointer; and Morris sank two free throws. Gore ended the torrid second quarter with a lay-up, putting the Cyclones in complete control, 54-25, which was a 29-point halftime lead over the region champions.
The second half was much of the same as Morris capped a 13-2 Cyclone run with a slam-dunk for a 67-25 advantage, midway through the third.
From that point, the only suspense was whether or not Chester would eclipse the century mark for the second straight game. Chester would eventually come up 10-points shy, but was more than satisfied with revenge over Panthers.
“We did a good job of sliding our feet and communicating defensively,” Hopkins said. “That will be very important for us as we move into the playoffs.”
Gore, who nailed two 3-pointers, led Chester with 19 points; followed by Morris with 17, Wilson with 16, and Sanders with 14.
Chester will host a first-round playoff contest Tuesday.
CHESTER 90, CHAPMAN 56
Chapman — Dashawn Davis 9, Shawn McMillan 8, Adam McClure 2, Charious Hill 13, Heze Williams 6, Talin Bonds 4, Brandon Goodwin 4, Josh McDunnell 4, Malik Gray 2, Richie Shell 2, Cody Hall 2.
Chester — Jamarcus Moore 4, Tommy Sanders 14, John Gore 19, Shyheim Wilson 16, Terrance Morris 17, Quan Caldwell 7, Jarrett Rambert 9, Chris Mayfield 2, CJ Chisholm 2.
3-pointers — Chapman 2 (Davis, McMillan), Chester 9 (Wilson 3, Gore 2, Morris 1, Sanders 1). Team fouls — Chapman 13, Chester 19. Fouled out — None.
Records: Chapman 16-7, 9-1 in Region 4-AAA; Chester 13-8, 8-2.
Chester girls lock up 2nd place in region
A halftime defensive adjustment allowed the Chester girls to outscore Chapman 20-9 down the stretch and pull away for a 48-34 victory to secure second place in the Region 4-AAA standings.
The Lady Cyclones, 14-10 and 8-2 in league play, held a slim three-point edge, 28-25, at the half, but yielded only nine points the remainder of the contest.
“We did a much better job defensively in the second half,” Chester coach Marilyn Milton said. “We did not do a good job on defense early and allowed them to get too many good shots.”
Chapman actually led, 14-11, in the first quarter, but Chester regrouped to seize the lead by three with a 17-11 surge in the second period.
Chester guard Shannon Shelgrove sank a three-pointer to open a 34-26 lead. Chapman scored five unanswered points to cut the deficit to four. However, Sheterrica Mayfield and Donnesha Crockett countered with consecutive hoops to close the quarter with Chester ahead, 38-31.
The Lady Cyclones carried that momentum into the fourth which opened with an 8-1 surge. Guard Porcelean Goldsborough picked off a steal and scored on a lay-up, Crockett sank a jumper, Stakerra Sanders scored after grabbing an offensive rebound, and Sanders swished another open shot to put the contest out of reach, 46-32, late in the fourth.
“The message that we put out for our girls is that defense is the key in the playoffs,” Milton said. “We wanted to prepare ourselves tonight with good defense.”
Milton said that securing the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AAA is a significant milestone.
“We did not make the playoffs last season,” Milton said. “This year, we took that same team and improved and earned a home playoff game. We are still a young team, but we are more experienced.”
Destiny Isom led the Lady Cyclones with 10, followed by Shaterrca Mayfield with nine.
Chester 48, Chapman 34
Chapman-Christi Fowler 5, Caitlyn Cheek 12, Aahliyah Moore 7, Tia Rice 4, Abbey Cheek 6.
Chester-Shaterrica Mayfield 9, Destiny Isom 10, Donnesha Crockett 6, Porcelean Goldsborough 6, T’ereka Sanders 2, Diamond Simpson 7, Stakerra Sanders 5,,Shannon Snelgrove 4..
3-pointers — Chapman 1 (Fowler); Chester 3 (Mayfield 1, Isom 2, Snelgrove 1). Fouled out —None. Total fouls — Chapman 12, Chester 14.
Records: Chester 14-10, 8-2 in Region 4-AAA.