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West Chester Henderson holds on despite test from rival West Chester East

WEST CHESTER >> It was supposed to be a run of the mill fourth quarter, just eight minutes until West Chester Henderson recorded a sixth straight victory to start the season. But, crosstown rival West Chester East had other ideas. The Vikings held the Warriors without a field goal in the quarter and closed to 10 midway through the frame.

However, Henderson saw the game off and held on for a 66-57 Ches-Mont League National Division girls basketball victory Thursday.

“We’ve proven this year we had a flair for the dramatic this season,” said West Chester Henderson coach Greta Neff.

The Warriors led, 59-34, after three, before the Vikings (0-3) began a rally.

This season’s leading scorer Marissa McDonald, who was held to nine points through three, tallied two straight baskets. Later, East notched 13 straight points. Suddenly, the lead was 61-51 with four minutes left, making the home crowd a lot more uncomfortable than it expected to be.

“I’m very proud of my team,” said West Chester East coach Erin Listrani. “Every day, I just ask them to compete and we’re looking to get better defensively, and we’ve been having good practices lately. I’m proud of the way they competed tonight.”

They outscored the the Warriors, 23-7, in the quarter. Mackenzie Richardson had two 3-pointers for eight of her team-high 16 points in the final eight minutes. McDonald finished with 15. Henderson was 7-of-14 from the line in the fourth.

“East is a good team. I give them credit for fighting until the end,” added Neff. “We just had to be a little more composed at the end. We took care of it.”

East clawed early on to force an 11-11 tie, but Henderson recorded seven straight points to take an 18-1 lead after one.

The beat kept on for the Warriors in the second as they stretched out to a 37-21 lead at halftime.

Turnovers did in the Vikings. They turned it over five straight times in the last half of the first quarter. They had eight miscues in the first and nine in the second.

“They did (kill us),” Listrani said of the turnovers. “But, we stuck to the gameplan, got back on defense and we really focused on that end.”

The Warriors were led offensively by Grace Ferguson, who had 10 baskets — many from in close — and finished with a game-high 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We were looking for the open shot and I was just looking to finish,” said Ferguson.

“The nice thing is Grace runs the court and she gets rewarded for it,” added Neff.

While the drama did get ramped up late, Henderson improved to 3-0 in the National and won its sixth straight overall. Ferguson summed it simply.

“A win is a win. That’s how I see it in my book,” she said

West Chester Henderson 66
West Chester East 57
W.C. East: Richardson 5 2-2 16; Yogel 5 0-0 11; McDonald 6 3-5 15; Dakin 0 1-2 1; Hartman 2 4-4 8; Doyle 2 1-2 6; Wahn 0 0-0 0; Kerns 0 0-0 0; Merten 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 11-15 57.
West Chester Henderson: DePrisco 1 4-10 6; Thompson 3 9-11 15; Torrance 1 2-4 5; Shea 3 1-2 7; Ferguson 10 2-2 22; Amarant 0 2-2 2; Smith 3 2-2 9; Shea 3 1-2 7; Manion 0 0-0 0; Tench 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 22-33 66.
W.C. East 11 10 13 23 — 57
W.C. Henderson 18 19 22 7 — 66
3-point goals: Richardson 4, Yoegel, Doyle, Torrance, Shea.

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