Chester hoopsters advance to semifinals

Shannon Morrow
Sports Editor

The Chester High School boys’ basketball team advanced to the Division V semifinals with two playoff wins last week over Weed and Modoc.

Chester, seeded fifth, opened with a 67-44 victory over 12th-seeded Modoc Feb. 23, and then went on the road to upset fourth-seeded Weed 64-57 in overtime last Saturday.

Last Saturday’s game at Weed was postponed from Friday night due to the snowstorm.

Weed outscored Chester 16-14 in the first quarter, 13-11 in the second quarter and 11-10 in the third quarter, but then Chester outscored Weed 15-10 in the fourth quarter to tie the game at the end of regulation.

Chester coach Joe Gilmour said that prior to the fourth quarter, his players began settling on outside shots too much, so he encouraged them to take it to the hoop and attack the rim.

“The guys picked it up and were able to get to the basket,” said Gilmour. “They started going right at them and made it happen.”

Near the end of the game, a timekeeping error with the shot clock forced Chester to foul for possession, and Weed missed the first half of a 1-and-1.

Trailing by two points in the final seconds of the game, Chester missed a 3-pointer but captured the rebound, and Chad Durkin scored as time expired, putting the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Chester outplayed Weed 14-7 for the seven-point victory.

Durkin led the Volcanoes with 20 points, followed by Topher Taylor with 17, Cole Fanning with 13 and Jake Simms with 10.

Durkin also led with 22 rebounds and four blocks. Simms grabbed 10 rebounds, Fanning captured seven and Keith Wann caught six.

Taylor led with eight assists and Fanning nabbed three steals.

Three days earlier, the Volcanoes buried Modoc 67-44 in the opening round of the Northern Section playoffs.

After building a 35-23 lead at halftime, Chester was limited to six points in the third quarter, but then racked up 26 points through the final period.

As a team, the Volcanoes shot 60 percent from the floor. Durkin led the Volcanoes with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Fanning and Taylor totaled 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Simms scored eight and Harry Leseur drained seven.

Taylor distributed 18 assists, and Fanning and Taylor each claimed four steals.

The Chester Volcanoes go on the road today, March 2, to play top-seeded Trinity in the semifinals.

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