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Chester upset in Murphysboro regional

  • Chester's Ian Reith jumps ball center court against Du Quoin's Maurice Washington to start the 2020 IHSA Class 2A Murphysboro Regional.

    Chester's Ian Reith jumps ball center court against Du Quoin's Maurice Washington to start the 2020 IHSA Class 2A Murphysboro Regional.
    Jim Beers photo

 
By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 2/29/2020 3:28 PM

The No. 13 Du Quoin Indians upset the No. 6 Chester Yellow Jackets in the first round of the Class 2A Murphysboro Regional Basketball Tournament on Monday.

The Yellow Jackets were favored to win, but were surprised by the Indians from the opening jump. Both teams got off to a slow start, but Chester drew first blood a minute into the contest and led 4-2 at the 2:15 mark. That would turn out to be the Jacket's last lead of the game.

It appeared as if the Yellow Jackets were purposely running a slow, deliberate offense to control the game's pace as no one on the Yellow Jacket squad seemed to want to shoot the ball. Fans on both sides of the court were yelling "shoot the ball" throughout the first and second quarters.

Du Quoin's Jake Prather drained a three-pointer at the 1:59 mark to take a 5-4 lead. Another Indian field goal would close out the quarter at the buzzer and Du Quoin led, 7-4 after the first quarter.

The second quarter was much like the first with Du Quoin playing with a great deal of intensity and confidence and Chester playing timid and with increasingly less confidence. Du Quoin started the period with back-to-back baskets to lead, 11-4 on a 9-0 run. Chester's Ian Reith was the only Yellow Jacket to be remotely active offensively in the opening 11 minutes having scored all six of Chester's points with 4:12 remaining in the half and CHS trailing, 11-6.

The remainder of the quarter Du Quoin would outscore Chester 15-4 to lead 26-10 at halftime.

After the halftime break the Jackets started off with a Chett Andrews three-pointer, but Du Quoin's Maurice Washington answered with a bucket. Chester and Du Quoin traded baskets the rest of the quarter with Du Quoin edging Chester 10-9 for a 38-22, 16-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Chester got within 12 points, 34-22, with 1:00 left to play in the third. Just when it seemed as if CHS might be rebounding, CHS Head Coach Brad Norman was called for a technical foul for what appeared to be being out of his coaching box.

With just 58.7 seconds left in the third, Du Quoin connected on both of their technical-related free throws to extend their lead to 36-22. The ordeal seemed to take the wind out of the Yellow Jacket's sails. Both teams scored in the final seconds and Du Quoin led, 38-22 at the third quarter break.

Chester came alive in the fourth quarter and outscored DuQuoin, 14-11 down the stretch, but it was too-little-too-late.

Chester's DeOndre Martin scored eight of Chester's final 14 points trying to "will" another late-game win for the Yellow Jackets. Jared Landeros added a three-pointer and Matt Korando sank back-to-back free throws for Chester's 14-point outing.

In the end, DuQuoin sustained an 11-point lead to win 49-38 and advance to the second round of the regional. Chester was eliminated from the tournament and ended its 2019-2020 season with an overall record of 20-12 and a Black Diamond Conference West Division record of 9-3.