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By Keith Pompey

Inquirer Staff Writer
This game wasn’t played in front of big crowds like last season’s matchups at Villanova and Penn State, and a PIAA Class AAAA state championship title wasn’t on the line.

But Chester vs. Norristown is still one of the biggest tickets in Pennsylvania. And in case you’re wondering, the Clippers still have the Eagles’ number.

Chester defeated Norristown, 58-47, in last night’s Pete Nelson Classic at Widener University.

It was the Clippers’ third victory in as many meetings with the Eagles dating back to last season. Chester (5-1) defeated Norristown in last season’s District 1 Class AAAA final at Villanova. The Clippers then prevailed in the state championship game at Penn State.

Guard Maurice Nelson, a junior transfer from Valley Forge Military Academy, paced the Clippers.

Nelson scored a team-high 16 points for The Inquirer’s fifth-ranked team in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Kareem Robinson added 8.

Senior guard Khalif Wyatt led the area’s 10th-ranked Norristown Eagles (5-2) with a team-high 16 points.

The Eagles had early 5-0 and 8-4 cushions over the inexperienced Clippers. But Rahlir Jefferson’s three-point play gave Chester a commanding 37-23 lead midway through the third quarter.

Norristown refused to give up, though, and pulled to within six points, 39-33, late in the quarter. But that was as close as the Eagles got.

Norristown 12 7 14 14 – 47

Chester 12 9 21 16 – 58

N: Sheldon Mayer 3, Khalif Wyatt 16, Lorenzo Christmas 9, Jarrell Gardner 5, James Ramsey 4, Tevin Bush 2, Tom Smith 8.

C: Kareem Robinson 8, Laquan Robinson 6, Maurice Nelson 16, Alvin Tinch 3, Dymore Crews 6, Keyon Staples 2, Rahlir Jefferson 12, Learon Pray 5.

Pennsbury's Dalton Pepper is being counted on to lead the Falcons this season.  Photo by Ron Cortes.

Pennsbury's Dalton Pepper is being counted on to lead the Falcons this season. Photo by Ron Cortes.

Surprising Pennsbury. What’s up with these Falcons? Don’t they understand that they’re not supposed to be this good?

Pennsbury doesn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-6. And of the players the Falcons do have, none honed their skills on the blacktops of Philadelphia or Chester.

But the road to the PIAA Class AAAA state might still go through Pennsbury.

The Falcons return four starters from a team that made its first Class AAAA state semifinal appearance in school history.

A lot of Pennsbury’s success will depend on West Virginia signee Dalton Pepper. The 6-5 senior guard is one of the nation’s top 150 players in the Class of 2009, according to

A four-year starter, Pepper is 20 points shy of breaking the Pennsbury boys’ career scoring record of 1,552 set by Jason Vegotksy in 2005.

He is 225 points shy of breaking the overall school record 1,757 set by former girls’ standout Dana Mitchell in 2006.

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