Kennett wins behind Hussey

CALN — West Chester Henderson’s girls basketball team was up by four points with one minute remaining in double overtime against Kennett. With the game seemingly locked up, Henderson made a grave mistake, fouling Jessica Hussey, twice. Hussey made all of her free throws and with 16 seconds left, hit a crucial jumper to give Kennett a two-point advantage, one they would not let slip away.

Kennett defeated Henderson, 63-60, in a double-overtime thriller Saturday afternoon at the Ches-Mont Challenge at Coatesville High School.

Kennett improved to 1-1 on the season, while Henderson falls to 0-2.

Hussey was a spark for the Blue Demons’ offense the whole game leading her team with 31 points.

“Normally for our team, we have a tough time coming back when we are down,’ said Hussey. “So especially going into double overtime that really was a big win for us.’

Hussey stepped up when it mattered most, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, 12 points in overtime, and going 20-25 at the free-throw line.

“In my opinion, Jess is just a workhorse out there,’ said Kennett coach Vince Cattano. “I feel like she draws so many fouls from the other team because she is so hard to guard with the things she can do. She battled through it and hit some big foul shots there.’

To reach the second overtime, the Blue Demons relied on the heroics of Miranda Hill. With six seconds left in the first overtime, Hill caught the ball on an in-bounds play and scrambled around a Hussey screen. Hill went down the baseline and threw up a tear-drop floater that tied everything up at 52.

“It was crazy I just went off a screen and kind of felt it was the right time and just threw it up. It was lucky,’ said Hill.

Cattano had high praise for Hill and her clutch shot.

“She’s a gamer, that girl loves to play basketball,’ said Cattano. “She’s just starting to get comfortable in our program and she’s only going to get better.’

On the other side, West Chester Henderson’s coach, Greta Neff, talked about her team’s performance and the way they were able to go toe-to-toe with Kennett team.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids, they played hard,’ she said. “The girls started going to the basket (in the second half) and that’s what we need to do. We need to attack the basket and make our own luck and that’s what they started to do.’

A young Henderson team, featuring only two seniors, was led by sophomore guard Emma Bertrando.

Bertrando had 21 points and paced the offensive attack late in overtime scoring nine points.

“She’s a real good athlete and a hard-nosed kid,’ said Neff. “She works her behind off and that’s her out there. She works hard, makes her own luck, and gets to the basket. There’s no quit in her, ever.’

Cattano had high praise for Neff and the rest of the Warriors.

“I think Henderson plays hard, they’re well coached, better coached than we are,’ he said. “She has those kids playing so hard and they know exactly what we are doing. At times we look

unorganized but that’s on me. I love the way that Henderson team plays, they play hard and look good. She’s doing a great job.’

It took two overtimes, but Kennett was able to pull out a win thanks to clutch shots from Hussey and Hill.

“I think we were down in both overtimes, said Cattano. “We were down by four with 40 seconds in the second overtime and I’m not sure how many in the first, but our kids found a way and fought back.

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