For the next two weeks, Jim Halley and Jason Jordan of USA TODAY High School Sports will take a look at the 10 high school boys basketball teams with a shot to be ranked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country. First up, alphabetically, is Chester, Pa., which finished last season as the No. 11 team in the Super 25.
Why it should be No. 1
The Clippers were 32-0 last season and won the state AAAA championship for the second consecutive year. In addition to a 58-game winning streak, they have a strong tradition, with more titles (eight) than anyone in the state. Chester returns three senior starters in 6-foot-7 forward Rondae Jefferson (12.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.7 blocks and 2.6 steals per game; committed to Arizona), 6-7 forward Richard Granberry and 6-1 guard Darius Robinson. The Clippers also return senior guard James Kirksey and added Friends Central transfer Conrad Chambers, a talented junior guard, and senior guard Isaiah Warren from Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.). They have a tough schedule that includes the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla, and the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Rondae Jefferson, senior, forward: “We should be No. 1. We’re a small city and everybody who is on our team is from our city. We don’t go out and recruit kids, but we can still compete with the best of the best. We will play anybody. Anybody who plays us is not going to get out of the game easily and they’re not winning in Chester.”
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