EAST GOSHEN >> Dakiya Daniels and West Chester Rustin locked it down on the defensive end, and turned that into a spot in the Ches-Mont League championship game.
Daniels had 12 points and West Chester Rustin sunk defending champion West Chester Henderson, 48-41, in Saturday’s Ches-Mont semifinal to advance to the league championship Tuesday night against Downingtown East, back at West Chester East.
“We get to the basket a lot more and we have played more as a team this year than we did last year,” said Daniels. “It feels really good; we were here last year but we didn’t get to play in the championship game so it feels good to bounce back from last year.”
It was a close game, but Rustin pulled away in the second half, with defense proving to be the deciding factor for the Golden Knights.
“We did not shoot well, but we did defend and I think that was the difference,” said Rustin coach Jim Powers. “I was proud of them, they had to stick together and gut it out, they had to play tough because we weren’t knocking down shots and we had to find other ways to score.”
Henderson started the game on a 9-0 run, just for the Golden Knights to answer with 12 unanswered points of their own.
The second quarter was much more balanced; with the teams scoring back and forth but ultimately resulting in Henderson taking the lead into halftime, 20-19.
Henderson began the second half with a quick two from Michaella Meredith to extend the Warriors’ lead to three, just for the Golden Knights to answer with a 9-0 run that gave them the lead and allowed them to outscore Henderson 15-7 in the third quarter.
Henderson fought hard to dig out of the troublesome fourth quarter deficit, but every time it cut the lead down, Rustin had an answer. The Golden Knight lead was down to five before another 9-0 run all but sealed the Warriors’ fate; each team finished with 14 points in the final quarter. Grace Plona and Daniels each had four points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Meredith had 12 points followed by Molly Manion with 11 points for West Chester Henderson in the loss.
“At times our kids went after it pretty good, but it just has to be a better effort start to finish,” said Henderson coach Greta Neff. “We got to get a quick turn around and figure things out and get ourselves right to make a run at districts.”
“It’s a huge win, we have had problems with them (Henderson) in the past, she (Greta Neff) does a great job with them and it’s always been close,” Powers said. “But this time we finally got over the hump so it’s a big win for us and it gives us a chance to play for something Tuesday night.”
West Chester Rustin 48, West Chester Henderson 41
Rustin 12 7 15 14 – 48
Henderson 11 9 7 14 – 41
WC Rustin: Shivers 2 0-0 6, Plona 2 6-14 10, Gatto 2 0-0 5, Magrone 1 0-0 3, DiCampli 3 0-0 8, Daniels 4 4-7 12, Costin 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 10-21 48.
WC Henderson: DePrisco 1 0-0 3, Meredith 5 0-0 12, Manion 4 0-0 11, Ferguson 2 2-4 6, Shea 3 3-4 9 Totals 15 5-8 41.
3-point goals: Shivers 2, DiCampli 2, Gatto, Magrone, Manion 3, Meredith 2, DePrisco
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