Chester’s Sudan just part of comeback show

CHESTER >> If you asked five Chester basketball players Tuesday night who they felt contributed a second-half spark against Penn Wood, you were liable to get five different answers.

The obvious replies would be Jamar Sudan, the senior captain, and the shot-making of Ahrod Carter. But when Michael Smith’s imperviousness to pressure defense with the ball in his hands and Jaimhy Evans’ ability to bottle up his man enter the pool of answers, then you know coach Larry Yarbray has the varied team attack he’s after.

All those factors contributed to the Clippers’ 61-53 win, starting off the Del Val League schedule on a winning note.
Sudan led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, but as is the hallmark of any battle-tested Chester team, one star didn’t shine alone.

Carter added 13 points, knocking down his final three looks from the field, including a 3-pointer over a screen at 6:21 of the fourth to put the Clippers up for good. Jordan Camper pushed a triple double with eight points, seven rebounds and eight blocks (all in the first half). And then there were the quieter pieces.

Chester’s Jamar Sudan, right, dribbles past Penn Wood’s Vincent Smalls Tuesday. Sudan scored 16 points as Chester claimed a 61-53 win. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

Smith scored 11 points to go with three assists, but two of those dimes brought the medium-capacity crowd at the Fred Pickett Memorial Gymnasium to their feet. He fed Carter for the decisive triple, then he brushed off Kairi Jones’ smothering defense up the length of the court to loft an alley-oop to the condor-like Camper to slam home. That rim-rocker capped a 10-2 run, putting Chester up 50-44 and providing all the cushion it would need.

But those key baskets were set up by the defense, led by Evans and others. Penn Wood (3-5, 0-1) led by as many as six midway through the third quarter thanks to its long-range shooting, exploiting the soft spot in the middle of Chester’s 2-3 zone to hit eight of its first 13 looks from 3-point range, including three from Jay Fitzgerald.

“We went into halftime, our coaches pressed defense,” Sudan said. “He wasn’t really mad about it being tied up. He just knew we could do better. So next half, we just (manned) up and all we were thinking about was defense, and the offense came from that.”

But in came Evans, a sophomore, to put a lid on Fitzgerald, who had 15 points but missed all three fourth-quarter chances from the perimeter. Add in nine rebounds for reserve Brian Randolph, and the Clippers (7-2, 1-0) limited Penn Wood to a sufficient tally of one-and-done possessions to protect the lead.

“What energized it is our defense and our will to win on the defensive end,” Carter said. “We got stops. They hit big shots but we played through it.”

“We were trying to dictate the pace,” Penn Wood point guard Jones said. “I felt like we did that through the first three quarters very well, and we knew they were going to go on a run. We tried our best to stop them. We tried to stop Ahrod from getting open a lot, and he made a big 3. And their big man (Camper), he’s huge. He had a couple of dunks, and they got rowdy.”

For three quarters, Victor Smalls dictated that pace. He only scored four points, but he dished nine assists and corralled nine rebounds, facilitating mostly from the weak spot in Chester’s zone near the foul line.

Shariff Goff added 11 points, and Jones supplied eight. But foul trouble mounted for Smalls, and both he and Pernell Ghee fouled out, the latter accounting for just five first-quarter points. Camper’s relentless denial of the tin didn’t help either’s case, and their absences weakened the Patriots’ efforts to establish offensive rhythm.

“They’re two of our most important players, especially Vincent,” Jones said. “He’s a very big player, so when he gets in foul trouble, we try to go more to shooting and try to shoot it ourselves so he can get back in the game. And it was falling but not how we would like it to fall.”

When crunch time descended Tuesday, it was ultimately Chester’s plethora of options that asserted itself, an essential rite of passage for each Chester team to accomplish its lofty goals.

“It prepares us to be mentally tough,” Carter said. “We have the will to win and to just be hungry and have the passion to play.”

Also in the Del Val:

Academy Park 57, Chichester 46 >> Nick Simmons hit three triples to tally 15 points, and Nasiem Harley added 13 as the Knights (6-3, 1-0) hung in from the line late.

Shermik Lofton added 12 points for AP.

DaQuan Granberry scored 17 points to lead Chichester (3-7, 0-1). James Hendricks and Epifanio Williams chipped in nine apiece.

Glen Mills 57, Interboro 39 >> Myron Sanders sunk eight field goals on the way to 17 points, and Kenyon Cooper (13 points) and Khalil Carter (13) joined him in double figures as the Bulls (5-4, 1-0) claimed the win.

Tarjah Faikai led Interboro (0-9, 0-1) with 11 points, while Ethan Herko chipped in eight.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply