Chester senior Topher Taylor amassed 43 points and 12 assists in Chester’s 73-68 victory over Hoopa Valley Dec. 20. Photo by Shannon Morrow
While most other local teams were taking a break over the holidays, the Chester High School boys’ basketball team traveled to Fort Bragg for a three-day tournament Dec. 19 – 21.
Chester finished the tournament with a 2-1 record. After beating Mendocino 55-28 and Hoopa Valley 73-68, Chester lost the championship match to Justin-Siena 66-44.
In their opening game Dec. 19, the Chester Volcanoes blew the doors off Mendocino 19-5 in the first quarter and 14-2 in the third quarter, but eased up in the second and fourth quarters, keeping the scoring mostly even.
Topher Taylor led Chester’s scoring with 17 points, followed by David Estacio with 10 points and Wyatt Durkin and Micah Bondon with eight points apiece.
On the boards, Dylan Shriver led with nine rebounds, followed by Durkin with seven, Hunter Morris with six and Bondon and Taylor with five apiece.
Estacio nabbed four steals for Chester, while Bondon, Taylor and Morris each grabbed three. Taylor added five assists.
The next day, Chester had a much more exciting game against Hoopa Valley.
The Volcanoes had a good first quarter to take a 22-14 lead, but then Hoopa Valley outscored Chester 27-14 in the second quarter to take a five-point lead into halftime.
After a fairly even third quarter, Chester trailed 56-53 going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Volcanoes outscored Hoopa Valley 20-12 to win by five in a come-from-behind victory.
Taylor had a huge game with 43 points for Chester. Taylor shot 67 percent from the floor, making nine of 12 two-point shots and five of nine three-pointers. Taylor also made 10 of 11 from the free-throw line and led with 12 assists and four steals.
Durkin and Schriver did a good job getting possession for Chester, with 12 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
In the title match Dec. 21, Chester was outmatched by Justin-Siena, a Catholic school in Napa.
Justin-Siena took a 22-8 lead in the first quarter and went into halftime with a 38-18 advantage before letting up in the second half. Chester’s statistics were not entered for this game.
The Volcanoes, with a 7-3 record, got 12 days off before traveling to Redding for a game against University Prep Tuesday, Jan. 3. The results weren’t known at press time.