West Goshen >> In a season of firsts for the undefeated West Chester Henderson girls’ basketball team, the Warriors added one more Saturday afternoon at West Chester East High School.
Henderson (23-0), in the Ches-Mont Final Four tournament for the first time in program history, handily defeated Oxford, 60-29, at West Chester East Saturday to advance to the Ches-Mont tourney finals for the first time ever.
The Warriors will face West Chester Rustin for the Ches-Mont championship Tuesday. Rustin defeated Downingtown East, 40-34, in the other Ches-Mont semifinal at West Chester East.
Saturday, Henderson held Oxford scoreless in the first quarter, getting off to a 12-0 lead by the end of the period. Meanwhile, the Warriors were getting the ball underneath to forwards Abbey Shea and Grace Ferguson, who combined to score all 12 of Henderson’s first-quarter points.
“All of our guards were making good passes inside, and [Shea and I] were able to use our height advantage to finish,” said Ferguson.
Oxford (11-11) did not score until 4:24 before halftime, when Hornet forward Hannah D’Aquanno sunk a free throw to make it 14-1.
“We played with a lot of discipline on defense today,” said Shea. “Oxford likes to pass the ball a lot, lull you to sleep.”
“The coaches told us before the game, ‘Don’t let Oxford tire you out [on defense],” said Ferguson. “We did a good job of staying alert when Oxford had the ball. We communicated well on defense, everyone was talking to each other.”
Henderson head coach Greta Neff said, “Defensively, I thought we played very well. Oxford didn’t knock down their looks at the basket, and we took advantage – we rebounded well.”
Ferguson grabbed 10 rebounds Saturday, while Shea pulled down eight boards.
Henderson kept on rolling the remainder of the second quarter, getting a nice offensive spurt (five points) in the period from junior guard Erin Thompson. Senior point guard Maddie DePrisco (who dished out six assists Saturday) hit a trey to give Henderson a 20-1 lead with 3:15 to go before halftime. By intermission, the Warriors held a 24-3 lead.
“Maddie does a nice job of running our offense,” said Neff. “And Erin Thompson gave us lots of energy of both sides of the court. She had a couple of nice spurts today.”
In the third period, the offense picked up for both sides. Shea netted 11 third-quarter points, while on the Oxford side, senior guard Madeline Williams picked up seven third-quarter points (including 5-for-5 from the free throw line) and freshman guard Christina Fernandez tallied 10 second-half points (including two treys).
Oxford head coach Brian Urig said, “I’m proud of our girls’ effort today. Henderson played very fundamentally sound today. Greta does a great job of coaching them, they have great post players who use their height advantage well, and they pass well.”
Shea and Ferguson combined for 15 field goals underneath; Shea finishing with 21 points and Ferguson tallying 14.
West Chester Henderson 60, Oxford 29
WEST CHESTER HENDERSON (60): DePrisco 2 0-0 6, Thompson 3 2-2 10, Torrance 1 0-1 3, Meredith 0 0-0 0, Amarant 0 2-2 2, Smith 2 0-1 4, Tench 0 0-0 0, Trotter 0 0-0 0, Shea 8 5-8 21, Ferguson 7 0-0 14, Totals 23 9-14 60.
OXFORD (29): Williams 2 5-5 9, D’Aquanno 1 1-2 3, Fernandez 4 0-0 10, London 0 0-0 0, Herrin 2 0-0 4, Hampshire 1 0-0 3, Eifert 0 0-0 0, Guzman 0 0-0 0, Totals 10 6-7 29.
West Chester Henderson 12 12 18 18 – 60
Oxford 0 3 19 7 – 29
3-point goals: DePrisco 2, Thompson 2, Torrance, Fernandez 2, Hampshire.