Goreville 65; CHS 57
On "Senior Night" the Jackets were ready to battle the Blackcats, and controlled the pace of the game throughout the first quarter, trailing by just two points after one quarter of play, 12-10 The second quarter started with a Goreville 4-0 run to give the Cats a 16-10 lead. CHS Coach Brad Norman was called for a technical foul at 2:05, which allowed Goreville to shoot technical free throws and the ball back, which gave them 4 more points.
With just 56.8 seconds remaining in the half, Coach Norman was called for another technical, which led to him being ejected from the game and Goreville hit another seven unanswered points. The Cats took a 27-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Jackets regrouped and matched the Cats 16 to 16 in the 3rd quarter, meaning the Blackcats led, 43-28, after three periods. Down the stretch Chester finished strong, outscoring Goreville, 29-22, but it was too little, too late as the Blackcats ended the night with a 65-57 victory to ruin Chester's "Senior Night."
Immediately following the game Coach Brad Norman presented Ian Reith with a special award for moving into third place in all-time scoring at Chester High School.
CHS 42; Sesser 40
Chester, which lost to Sesser-Valier on Dec. 13, had payback in mind. With Coach Norman sitting this one out due to his ejection against Goreville, Assistant Coach Chris Toledo was at the helm.
The first quarter was a hard-fought game with the Red Devils leading by just two points, 11-9 after one quarter of action. DeOndre Martin paced the Jackets during that opening frame with five points. Ian Reith and Chett Andrews added two points apiece for Chester's nine point first quarter.
The second quarter was equally close and exciting as the Jackets outscored Sesser-Valier, 7-6 to trail by just one point, 17-16, at halftime.
In the second quarter Jared Landeros popped a three-pointer and DeOndre Martin and Ian Reith each hit field goals to give the Jackets their seven points.
Chester came out strong after the popcorn break and outscored Sesser, 15-7 in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead, 31-24 after three quarters of play.
In that big period, Ian Reith came on strong and connected for three two-pointers. DeOndre Martin hit a pair of two-pointers and Chett Andrews drained a three-pointer. Jordan Hughes topped-off the huge quarter with a two-point field goal. The final period was a real "barnburner"with the Red Devils giving the Yellow Jackets a run for their money down the stretch.
The Devils actually outscored Chester, 16-11, but the heroics of Chester's DeOndre Martin saved the day for Chester and the Yellow Jackets and came home with a huge win on the road.
Martin was the only Chester player to score down the final 8:00 and willed the Jackets to victory making 5 of 8 free throws when they really counted and made several pressure-filled field goals.
With just 2:06 to play in the game, Chester enjoyed a three-point lead, 37-34. After a time out, DeOndre Martin sank another field goal and just when it appeared the Jackets had it won, the Red Devils pulled within two points, 39-37 with just 1:04 remaining.
Sesser tied the game, 39-39 with 38.7 seconds to play. On Sesser's next possession, the Jackets sent Red Devil Ryker Kiselewski to the line with just 7.7 seconds to play. He made one.
With 7.7 seconds remaining, Chester's Ian Reith was pressured on the inbound pass and called timeout.
Jordan Hughes came out of the huddle to inbound the ball and the Yellow Jackets prepared to execute what they thought would be their last play of the game. Hughes successfully got the ball in to Ian Reith at the three-quarter court area and Reith immediately passed to DeOndre Martin who flew to the basket and threw up a layup to tie the game.
Martin's shot did not fall, but he was fouled and sent to the line with 3.9 seconds to play. He could win the game by sinking his second free throw. He missed his shot, but with lightning speed followed his ball and got the rebound. With reflexive motion Martin spun, threw up a 12-footer and made the two-point field goal to win the game, 42-40 at the buzzer.
CHS 57; Sparta, 45
The Jackets closed out the regular season at Sparta. The Bulldogs came out strong and outscored the Yellow Jackets, 14-8, to start the game but Chester returned the favor in the second quarter and outscored the Bulldogs, 14-11. Sparta enjoyed a slim, three-point lead, 25-22 at halftime.
The second half was mostly Chester's game. The Jackets outscored the Dawgs 12-8 in the third and 23-12 in the fourth quarter to win, 57-45. Even so, the second half was plagued with fouls as Chester went to the free-throw line 19 times making 12 and Sparta went to the line 14 times making nine.