Clippers Win One And Then Get Quiet The Clippers Romped In The First Round Of The State Tourney.

Posted: March 13, 1995

WALLINGFORD — For the rest of the season, the Chester players will do all of their talking on the basketball court.

The Clippers, who rolled to a 73-49 victory over Lebanon on Saturday at Strath Haven in the first round of the state Class AAAA boys' basketball playoffs, are after their second straight state title.

Focus, coach Alonzo Lewis says, is a key to their quest.

That focus, Lewis thinks, can be disturbed. So Lewis will do all of the talking after the games and let his players express themselves on the court.

"They talk too much," he said, declaring a moratorium on interviews with Chester players. "They talk about strategy - what little strategy I have.

"I really do have to keep their focus. This isn't about being a star. This isn't about interviewing. It's about winning."

Chester (24-5), after rolling through the District 1 playoffs, continued to dominate on Saturday as it advanced to a second-round game against Williamsport at a site and time to be determined.

Lebanon (22-6), the fourth seed from District 3, stayed with the Clippers for 11 minutes. Joe Celaschi's three-pointer with five minutes remaining in the second quarter cut Chester's lead to 21-17.

The Cedars had been successful against Chester's press to that point and had prevented the Clippers from making any crushing runs. But coach John Barnhart knew it would be difficult to keep a finger in the dike forever.

"You can handle their pressure for only so long," he said. "You can't get overconfident. You handle it for a while, and then things come apart."

Things came apart for the Cedars in the last five minutes of the second quarter. Ray Carroll scored nine of his game-high 27 points to key a 15-3 run that sent the Clippers into the locker room with a 36-20 lead.

Lebanon closed to within 13 late in the third quarter, but Eric Evans' jumper and Brahin Pharr's three-pointer increased the Clippers' lead to 51-33.

With the outcome decided, the Clippers entertained the rest of the way. Guard Randy Maultsby, who scored 21 points, provided the highlight of the afternoon, doing a 360-degree turn in the air before making a layup to open the fourth quarter.

"If he had missed that," Lewis said later, "I would have yanked him out of the game."

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