RICHBURG -- Chester coach Jason Smith was happy to finally be playing with a full deck of cards.
The addition of key players who just completed the Class AAA state championship football run finally arrived on the scene and played key roles in the 84-74 road victory over Lewisville on Tuesday night.
"Julius Pendergrass and Tony McNeal each came up big in their own ways," Smith said. "Julius provided us with a spark defensively. And with Tony, I did not know what we would get, but he was a stabilizing presence on the inside."
Pendergrass and McNeal were two of five Cyclones in double-figures with 20 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman forward Jameston Gallman scored all of his game-high 24 in the second half, sparking the Chester boys to their first win of the season.
Meanwhile, Lewisville had several bright spots under first-year coach Tony Busby. However, he said defense is now the primary concern.
"We have to play better defensively," Busby said. "Offensively, we are okay with that, but the biggest thing is defense right now. We have to match up and stop opponents from scoring."
Sparked by 10 points each from Pendergrass and senior forward Harry Bland the Cyclones led by seven, 37-30, at the half. Lewisville rallied to pull even at 37, early in the third quarter. However, Chester quickly regrouped to seize control with a 57-48 lead midway through the third quarter. Zach Carter scored on the inside to pull the Lions with within six, 59-53.
Pendergrass contered with a 3-pointer and on the next Cyclone possession, Gallman beat the third-quarter buzzer by converting an offensive rebound for a 64-54 advantage.
Jaquese Lightner swished a 3-pointer pulling Lewisville within 70-64 with 3:54 remaining, but the Lions had no answer for Gallman who scored 10 of the final 12 Cyclones points.
Girls varsity basketball
RICHBURG -- An up-tempo offense and pressure defense was the key for the Chester girls who overwhelmed Lewisville, 83-17, Tuesday in nonregion girls' action at the Lewisville gymnasium.
Chester exploded from the opening tipoff with a 26-4 lead and from that point the outcome was never in doubt.
The Lady Cyclones continued to control the tempo in the second quarter with its swarming defense creating a rash of Lady Lion turnovers. Leading 38-7 at the half, Chester was even more dominant in the second half, outscoring Lewisville 45-10 in the final two quarters.
Senior Micah Wessinger and junior Jasmine Sanders led Chester with 20 and 22 points, respectively.