CHESTER — Rondae Jefferson couldn’t remember if he’d ever been tasked with taking a game-winning shot during his illustrious Chester career.
That’s generally a tell-tale sign that he hadn’t had the opportunity. A big part of that is because the Clippers rarely play in close games, but there’s still a first for everything.
So with Chester and Imhotep Charter tied with less than 10 seconds to go in the marquee game of the Pete and Jameer Nelson Classic Friday night at Widener University, the Clippers knew who to go to. Jefferson took a pass in the low post, spun toward the net and tossed up a reverse layup that somehow fell for the game-winning points in Chester’s 63-61 win over the Panthers.
“I knew I was going to score,” said Jefferson, the reigning Daily Times Player of the Year and Chester’s team MVP of the game. “I knew I was either going to get fouled or score. I just tried to go up strong. I actually jumped and I had seen the reverse (open), so that’s what made me reverse. Because I was going to go up straight, but then I had seen the reverse was there. It was an unbelievable feeling to make the game-winning shot with adrenaline rushing and people running on the court cheering you on. It’s just crazy and I like it.”
Jefferson’s acrobatic night capped an impressive 18-point, 15-rebound night for him as he helped the Clippers improve to 6-2. But there were still 7.8 seconds to go when the Arizona signee gave Chester only its third lead since the first quarter. Imhotep, the two-time defending PIAA Class AA champion, got a pass in to Deryl Bagwell, but Bagwell never even got a sniff at the Clippers’ net as James Kirksey was there to deny him any chance. Kirksey stripped the ball from Bagwell and by the time Darius Robinson scooped the loose ball up and tossed it up into the air, the heavily pro-Chester crowed rushed out on the court to mob their two-time defending PIAA Class AAAA champions.
Boys Basketball: Jefferson delivers as Chester edges Imhotep - delcotimes.com