Chester topples Lower Merion

Chester's Rondae Jefferson is hemmed in by Lower Merion's Jaquan Johnson (left) and Raheem Hall in the third quarter. Jefferson scored 13 points. RON TARVER / Staff Photographer
Chester's Rondae Jefferson is hemmed in by Lower Merion's Jaquan Johnson (left) and Raheem Hall in the third quarter. Jefferson scored 13 points. RON TARVER / Staff Photographer
Posted: March 03, 2013

Another dazzling third-quarter surge paved the way for Chester's third consecutive PIAA District 1 Class AAAA championship.

Against second-seeded Lower Merion, the top-seeded Clippers seized command after a back-and-forth first half with a 16-3 burst and easily downed the Aces, 60-46, Friday night in the final at Villanova's Pavilion.

Chester, which claimed its 10th district boys' basketball crown in the last 12 seasons and 22d overall, did the same to Abington in Tuesday's semifinals. In that one, a 20-1 third-quarter run produced a 76-43 victory.

Down by 30-26 early in the third, Darius Robinson's three-pointer and Rondae Jefferson's putback started a 10-0 run for the Clippers. Jefferson's follow dunk provided a 42-33 advantage entering the last eight minutes.

With 15 points, senior guard Rashan DeJarnette sparked the defending state titlists. Jefferson, an Arizona recruit, and sub James Kirksey each netted 13 points.

For Lower Merion (25-3), which sought its first district title since 1996, 6-foot-8 senior Yohanny Dalembert netted 12 points and B.J. Johnson, a senior swingman and Syracuse signee, had 11.

Early in the fourth quarter, DeJarnette's fastbreak layup put Chester (24-3) ahead, 45-33. The Clippers, who went only 15 for 32 from the line, led by as many as 17 in the fourth.

Both teams are headed for the state tournament, which will begin next Saturday. Games are played at neutral sites.

Chester will play Cumberland Valley, District 3's seventh-place finisher, and Lower Merion, again placed in the western half of the bracket, will face Carlisle, District 3's fifth-place qualifier.

Lower Merion 16 8 9 13 – 46

Chester 18 8 16 18 – 60

LM: Raheem Hall 7, Yohanny Dalembert 12, B.J. Johnson 11, Justin McFadden 2, Corey Sherman 3, Doug Cotler 4, Baird Howland 5, Justin McFadden 2.

C: Conrad Chambers 5, Darius Robinson 7, Rashan DeJarnette 15, Richard Granberry 5, Rondae Jefferson 13, James Kirksey 13, Khalil Williams 2.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ozoneinq.

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