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Bigger, more experienced Downingtown East overpowers Downingtown West

UWCHLAN >> In an early start to the Ches-Mont League National Division girls basketball slate, Downingtown East jumped out against rival Downingtown West and never looked back in a convincing 64-27 victory Monday night.

“We wanted to be unselfish and share the basketball,” said East coach Tom Schurtz. “We wanted to use our height inside and we played well.”

[PETE BANNAN PHOTO GALLERY FROM MONDAY’S GAME]

Both teams started slowly, but the Cougars (1-0, 2-0) then scored 12 straight points as Erin Phelan and Bella Smuda combined for 11 of the 12 points. Sammie Sipes scored on a layup with 2:20 left to end the run. The Whippets (0-1, 0-2) missed their first 10 shots as they struggled out of the gate.

“Absolutely. 100 percent,” said Johnson on his team’s efforts. “The girls came out and they wanted to improve from their last outing. I think we did that. We got some shots. We left some layups out there, but we got to the basket which is what we wanted.”

East closed the quarter on a 6-2 run to take a 20-4 lead after one.

The Whippets were hit hard by graduation and transfers, which left them as a young, unproven side. They started three sophomores and no one over 5-foot-6. They had a rough start, scoring just 11 points in a season-opening loss to Great Valley on Friday.

“This is what they need,” added Johnson. “You need to play against good quality teams and East is definitely one of them. This is the way they’re going to learn. Any competition is good for them.”

West played better in the second quarter, they were outscored just 13-9 as they trailed 33-13 at halftime.

East came out of the locker room firing. Phlean and Smuda scored eight of the first 10 points to give East a 41-15 advantage. Phelan had 12 points in the quarter and finished with a game-high 25 points. Smuda had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

“There’s not many teams who have the luxury of the two post players like we have,” said Schurtz.

Both saw their night done by the end of the third as the Cougars built a 50-20 lead and left it to the reserves to see the game out.

The Cougars are off until Saturday when they host Berwick. The Whippets are off to Florida to take part in the Disney Tournament, beginning Thursday.

NOTES >> This was the first league game played on the newly refurbished Coach Bob Schnure court. The banners will be rehung during the Christmas break. … One of the stranger scenes came at the opening tip. Four of the five West players were in their defensive half, while 5-3 Sammie Sipes went to the center circle against 6-5 Smuda. Sipes backed up when the ball went in the air and allowed Smuda an uncontested win.

Downingtown East 64, Downingtown West 27
Downingtown West: Sipes 3 0-0 6, Hurley 1 0-0 2, Marrone 3 0-0 8, Werner 2 0-0 5, Staz 1 0-0 2, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Young 1 0-0 2, Harpel 0 0-0 0, Hermann 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Misui 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 0-0 27.
Downingtown East: Brennan 0 0-0 0, Tyrell 0 0-0 0, Smuda 2 7-8 11, Phelan 11 3-4 25, Williams 3 0-0 7, McFillin 1 0-0 2, Campbell 2 0-0 4, Henken 0 2-2 2, Crum 4 2-5 11, Meakim 1 0-0 2, Geary 1 0-3 2. Totals: 25 14-22 64.
Downingtown West 4 9 7 7 — 27
Downingtown East 20 13 17 14 — 64
3-point goals: Marrone 2, Werner, Williams, Crum.

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