Chester High School went undefeated for the week Jan. 21-25 with wins over Black Diamond Conference foe Christopher and nonconference opponent Gibault Catholic. The Yellow Jackets finished the week with a 10-0 streak and improved their record to 19-5 overall and 6-0 in the conference.
CHS 52; Christopher 36
The Bearcats trailed by just five points after the first quarter, 11-6, and the Cats managed to break even in the second period, 13-13. The Yellow Jackets took a slim, 24-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Keith Kiner III led the Jackets in the first period with four points and Drake Bollman paced the Jackets in the second with five. Chester led 7-0 at the 3:30 mark. Ian Reith added a two-pointer at 2:08 to lead, 9-3. Kiner tipped-in a missed shot with 14 seconds left in the first to lead, 11-6.
Christopher did not score until the 2:55 mark when Garver popped a three-pointer. Christopher's Kye Garver led the Bearcats both periods with three in the first and five in the second.
Chester stepped it up in the third quarter, outscoring Christopher, 17-7. Kiner was hot again with three field goals and 1-for-1 free throw shooting. Cushman and Bollman scored right away in the third to give Chester a 28-22 lead at 6:40.
The Bearcats answered with a trey of their own to cut the lead to 28-22 at 6:19. Kiner answered that with a huge dunk that got the Chester crowd into the game. Bollman got a big rebound and fed Ian Reith who scored two points on a layup, giving Chester its biggest lead, 34-24 with 3:14 remaining in the third.
Chester would add seven more points to end the quarter on a two pointer by Bollman after which Kiner made a strong move to the basket for two. He was fouled and made his free shot. The Jackets led, 39-26 with 1:34 to play.
The Bearcats were making a strong move to the basket at the 1:20 mark when Chester's Drake Bollman made a huge, monster blocked shot which sent the basketball flying deep into the end zone stands. As the clock was running down, Chester's Keith Kiner had yet another big dunk to end the quarter.
The Bearcats were led by Gabriel Motsinger in the third quarter who popped a three-pointer for three of Christopher's seven points. Chester led by 15 points, 41-26, at the end of three.
In the fourth, the Yellow Jackets added 11 points while the Bearcats scored 10. Kiner once again paced the Jackets with six points on a pair of field goals and another perfect outing at the free throw line.
Christopher was led by Gage Hawkins who sank a pair of field goals. Bryce Pratt and Garver each drained three-pointers for the Bearcats' 10 points.
In the game Chester was paced by Kiner with 20 points. Bollman added 11. Other Chester contributors were Reith (9), Colin Wingerter (8), and Jakob Cushman and DeOndre Martin (2). Chester was 7-for-9 at the line.
Christopher was led by Garver with 11 points. Pratt and Hawkins had seven each, Motsinger (5), Mason Goins (4), and Peyton Mazur (2). Christopher was 3 for 4 at the free throw line.
Chester head Coach Brad Norman said the Jackets played a tough Christopher team.
"It was a slower-paced game but our guys made adjustments and controlled the ball in the last few minutes to seal the win," he added.
CHS 68; Gibault 37
In the opening game Chester's JV won, 43-33 to set the tone for the evening. There was an extra good crowd on hand at CHS as the Chester Dance Team performed at halftime and the CHS Cheerleaders performed their 2019 competition cheer routine.
Gibault drew first blood as Austin Sweeney drained a three-pointer less than a minute into the game. Chester's Keith Kiner III answered with a two-pointer and Ian Reith followed suit and Chester led, 4-3 at 4:55.
Before the first period was over Gibault would hit three more three-pointers; two by Karson Huels and another by John Sweeney. Drake Bollman hit both of his free throw attempts and Ian Reith and Keith Kiner hit field goals late in the period. Reith's last basket came with 12 seconds left to play in the first. Gibault led by four points, 15-11, after one period.
Gibault struck first again in the opening 22 seconds of the second quarter and led, 17-11 at 7:38. But the Yellow Jackets responded with a 13-0 run that gave them a nine-point lead, 26-17, with 3:22 remaining in the half.
During that run DeOndre Martin came off the bench to spark the Jackets with eight points, Kiner knocked down four field goals and a three-pointer. Gibault would finally score again at the 2:28 mark when Karson Huels hit a layup. The Yellow Jackets led the Hawks by 10 points, 33-23 at halftime after outscoring them 22-8 in the second quarter.
When action resumed, Chester was fired up and continued to run away from the Hawks. By the 2:36 mark the Jackets had already outscored Gibault, 14-5, for a 47-38 advantage.
During that opening stretch Kiner had a pair of monster blocks, and Bollman (4), Wingerter (5), Reith (3) and Martin (2) combined for the 14-point run.
In the final 50 seconds, Kiner would hit a two-pointer, then miss a three-pointer from the far baseline, follow his shot, get the offensive rebound and lay it up for a score. Chester led by 21, 51-30, as the third quarter ended.
By that time the Jackets were flying like a runaway train. Chester outscored Gibault, 12-2 in the opening 4:05 of the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 63-32. The final three minutes of the game was played with a continuous clock as Chester had more than a 30-point lead, triggering the Mercy Rule.
Norman's bench came in during the final minutes of the game and Chett Andrews knocked down a three-pointer to thrill the crowd. Chester won the game, 68-37 in convincing fashion.
In the win, CHS had three players score in double figures including Kiner (23), Ian Reith (17) and DeOndre Martin (10). Other contributors were Colin Wingerter (7), Drake Bollman (6), Chett Andrews (3) and Jakob Cushman and Matt Korando (1). The Jackets shot 8 of 15 from the free throw line.
Gibault had just one player in double figures, Kaleb Huels, with 14 points. Gavin Kohnz had seven, followed by John Sweeney (5), Logan Doerr (3) and Dylan Altadonna, John Adams, Will Janson, and Eric Schreder with two points apiece. The Hawks shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe.
Norman was impressed with Gibault's guards, who started the game 5-for-5 from the field. But, he said, Chester made some defensive adjustments, and "then we started hitting some shots."
"Our guys are very good sharing the ball and finding the hot hand," Norman added. "In the past 10 games they have started to find their groove defensively and offensively. They play hard for each other and that has been our goal all year."