Chester boys' basketball beats Lassen, wins tourneyShannon Morrow
With an acrobatic flair, Chester’s Cole Fanning leaps past a Lassen defender Dec. 14. Fanning totaled 11 points and eight rebounds in the 50-45 victory. Photos by Shannon Morrow
Last week’s boys’ basketball game between Chester and Lassen promised to be good, so two sports editors showed up to cover the same match.
With me there supporting Chester, and Susanville’s Kayleen Taylor there rooting for Lassen, we stood under opposite baskets, taking photos and notes of our respective teams as they battled it out.
Prior to the match we gave one another some good-natured ribbing, each confident that our team was going to win.
With Chester leading by nine points at halftime, I began to rub it in. Taylor wasn’t fazed and continued to back her Grizzlies.
Once the final buzzer sounded and Chester was victorious, I did my best not to gloat. I offered condolences to Taylor, to which she responded with harsh words.
Got to love her competitiveness, but I was glad to be on the winning side. Better luck next time Kayleen!
The Chester High School boys’ basketball team has jumped out to impressive 10-1 start this season, including two tournament championships and a big win at Lassen last week.
“The kids are playing really hard and really smart,” said Chester coach Joe Gilmour. “We run a Princeton-style offense with high-percentage shots, and man-to-man on defense to force bad shots.”
Chester 50, Lassen 45
Chester and Lassen were neck and neck through the first quarter. After six lead changes, Lassen led 12-11 at the end of the first period.
Early in the second quarter Lassen extended its lead to 18-15, but then Chester went on a 14-2 run to go into halftime with a 29-20 advantage.
“We played well in that game,” said Gilmour. “Harry Leseur locked down Lassen’s point guard. The poor kid had a hard time getting anything done.”
Chester took control of the game with excellent shot selection and accuracy, as the Volcanoes made 57 percent of their shots from the floor.
On the other end of the court, Lassen was afforded very few second shots, thanks to Chester’s aggressive defensive rebounding, especially by Chad Durkin.
Durkin led the Volcanoes with 11 rebounds, followed by Cole Fanning with eight.
By the end of the third quarter, Chester had extended its lead to 41-29, but Lassen refused to give up and outscored Chester by seven points through the final period.
Three players scored in double digits for Chester. Topher Taylor totaled 14 points, Durkin netted 13 and Fanning bagged 11.
Taylor and Fanning combined for nine steals, and Taylor delivered 10 assists.
Mountain Pride Invitational
Chester went 3-0 to capture first place at the Mountain Pride Invitational in Chester Dec. 9-11.
In their first game against East Nicolaus, the Volcanoes won 69-54, with a field goal percentage of 64 percent as a team.
Topher Taylor made six of seven shots from the floor, including three three-pointers, to lead Chester with 15 points.
Cole Fanning and Chad Durkin drained 13 points apiece, and Harry Leseur netted 10, making five of six from the free-throw line.
Jake Simms and Durkin each pulled down 11 rebounds for the Volcanoes.
Taylor delivered nine assists, and Leseur served up seven assists.
Keith Wann led with four steals, and Taylor nabbed three steals.
The next night, Chester had an easy time against Burney, taking a 25-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and cruising to a 59-36 victory.
Nine Chester players scored, and they all shot 50 percent or better from the floor.
Durkin led the Volcanoes with 12 points, followed by Fanning and Leseur with 10 apiece and Ryan Bereznak with seven. Durkin also led with 13 rebounds.
Fanning and Durkin captured six and five steals, respectively, and Taylor delivered 12 assists.
In their final game of the tournament Saturday, the Volcanoes beat up on Big Valley, 66-23.
Bereznak led the way with 15 points for Chester, while Addison Cory and Durkin each scored 10.
Simms grabbed 13 rebounds for Chester. Durkin recorded 12 rebounds, giving him his third double-double of the tournament. Dylan Schriver added eight rebounds.
Durkin also claimed five blocks. Dusty Burnett led Chester in steals with four.
Chester had only five turnovers in the game.
Taylor was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Fanning and Durkin also earned all-tournament honors.
Most recently, Chester extended its winning streak to eight straight games with three victories at the Block M tournament in Alturas last Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 16-18.
The Volcanoes couldn’t practice all week because most of the team was sick with the flu, including the coach.
“We got a couple good, gutsy wins,” said Gilmour. “Considering we were all not feeling well, it was pretty cool.”
Chester opened with a 57-45 win against Modoc Thursday then beat Tulelake 69-55 Friday.
In their final game against Lakeview Saturday, the Volcanoes posted a 62-51 victory.
Harry Leseur was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Pl