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Borough blitz: Host Henderson, Rustin start season with wins at Ches-Mont Challenge


PETE BANNAN -DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA WC Rustin’s (15) Erin Gallagher shoots as Coatesville’s (12) Olivia Ellzy in the first half of the Ches-Mont Challenge basketball tournament Friday evening at WC Henderson.

West Chester >> It was a great night to begin the season if you were a West Chester team at the Ches-Mont Girls Basketball Challenge Friday evening at West Chester Henderson.
West Chester Rustin rolled to a 72-52 win against Coatesville in the opening game of the doubleheader, then host Henderson defeated Unionville 48-32 in the nightcap, in what was the season opener for all four teams.
“We’ve been ready for this game since preseason — we were pumped up tonight,” said Rustin senior Maggie O’Hare, who scored 26 points. “I think we came prepared.”
Henderson junior guard Erin Thompson, who led the Warriors with 18 points, said, “Our whole team was energized and ready to go tonight, ready to work hard — and playing in front of a home crowd is the best.”
In the opener, Rustin roared to an 18-9 lead by the end of the first quarter, and gradually pulled away from Coatesville, outscoring the Red Raiders in every quarter. The Golden Knights displayed a golden touch from 3-point land, hitting 13 treys on the night.
“Tonight was a good building block for us,” said Rustin head coach Jim Powers. “It’s a long season, and this is the first game of 22, but I thought tonight was a good barometer — we played alright. We had a lot of turnovers, and some defensive lapses, but we’ll work on those things.”
The score was 6-6 midway through the first period, but Rustin went off on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. The run began when O’Hare hit a trey at the top of the key, then Golden Knights junior guard Becca Magrone nailed a three from the left corner, then following a Coatesville turnover, Rustin senior forward Erin Gallagher worked her way inside for a basket to make the score 15-6.
Gallagher (who scored 18 points) led the Rustin three-point shooters with four (three of them in the third quarter). But the Golden Knights’ success Friday night was based on more than outside sharpshooting.

“I thought [junior guard] Olivia Gatto did a good job coming off the bench for us [in the second quarter],” said Powers. “She showed some good stuff at both ends, getting loose balls and offensive rebounds. And [junior] Dakiya Daniels grabbed some big defensive rebounds for us — Coatesville had good size.”
Coatesville was led by 5-11 freshman Neveyah Chester, who scored 20 points.
“We have only one returning starter, [junior guard] Sarah Huston,” said Coatesville head coach Tem Mack. “We have a bunch of juniors — it will take our players a while to find their roles. Tonight, they got of taste of what [Ches-Mont basketball] is.”
In the second game, Henderson rolled out to a 14-8 first quarter lead, then held Unionville to only three points in the second quarter to build a 22-11 halftime advantage. The Warrior lead grew to 42-24 by the end of the third quarter.
“It was a team effort tonight,” said Thompson. “Our guards ran the floor well, we played good defense, and we knew that Unionville was big – we had to box out.”
Henderson junior forward Grace Ferguson led the Warriors with 10 rebounds, while senior forward Abbey Shea pulled down nine, and senior guard Erin Torrance grabbed six boards.
“Grace and Abbey held their own underneath and did a good job blocking shots,” said Henderson head coach Greta Neff.
In the second quarter, Unionville crept to within 17-11 when Indian junior guard Sam Ciccarelli (who finished the night with seven points) drove inside for a basket. But the Warriors closed the first half on a nice 5-0 run, capped when Thompson connected just before the halftime buzzer.
Early in the third quarter, Thompson made a couple of steals that led to Warriors baskets and a 33-14 lead for ther hosts. The first steal was followed by a Thompson jump shot, the second by a Thompson-assisted layup.
Neff said, “Erin [Thompson] attacked the basket and played the only way she knows how to play, at 100 miles per hour. Our guards [Maddie DePrisco, Thompson and Torrance] did a good job tonight pushing the ball up the court.”
In the fourth quarter, Unionville senior forward Grace Schrof (who finished the night with 16 points) got hot, scoring twice after a couple of offensive rebounds to cut Henderson’s lead to 42-32.
But Henderson came right back when Shea scored after pulling down an offensive board, then Torrance (who finished with 11 points) tallied to increase the hosts’ margin once again.

West Chester Rustin 72, Coatesville 52
Coatesville     9 11 13 19 – 52
W.C. Rustin 18 13 19 22 – 72
COATESVILLE (52): Chester 8 2-4 20, Ellzy 1 1-2 3, Worthington 2 0-2 4, Boggs 1 0-0 2, Huston 3 0-0 7, Bermudez 3 1-1 9, Powell 3 0-0 7, Edwards-Rowley 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-7 52.
W.C. RUSTIN (72): Plona 1 0-0 2, Gatto 4 0-1 9, Gallagher 7 0-0 18, Magrone 2 0-2 6, DiCampli 2 0-0 6, O’Hare 7 9-12 26, Infonzato 2 0-3 5, Daniels 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 9-18 72.
3-point goals: Coatesville – Chester 2, Huston, Bermudez 2, Powell; W.C. Rustin – Gatto, Gallagher 4, Magrone 2, DiCampli 2, O’Hare 3, Infonzato.

West Chester Henderson 48, Unionville 32
Unionville             8 3 13 8 – 32
W.C. Henderson 14 8 20 6 – 48
UNIONVILLE (32): Ciccarelli 3 1-5 7, Iacocca 1 0-0 2, Covert 1 1-1 3, Cresta 1 0-2 2, Schrof 5 6-6 16, Towler 1 0-2 2, Barrett 0 0-0 0, Heldt 0 0-0 0, Megill 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 8-16 32.
W.C. HENDERSON (48): DePrisco 1 0-0 3, Thompson 7 2-2 18, Torrance 4 2-4 11, Smith 2 1-2 5, Manion 1 0-0 2, Shea 2 1-4 5, Ferguson 2 0-2 4, Meredith 0 0-0 0, Amarant 0 0-0 0, Tench 0 0-0 0, Trotter 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 6-14 48.
3-point goals: W.C. Henderson – DePrisco, Thompson 2, Torrance.

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