Henderson gets 17 points from Betrando in win over East

WEST CHESTER — The theme for West Chester Henderson this season is to play hard and let the score take care of itself.

For the Warriors, one of the youngest teams in the Ches-Mont League, that philosophy has worked well in the early going and the results are showing.

After two tough losses to Bishop Shanahan and Downingtown West last week, Henderson decided to take out its frustration on archrival West Chester East.

Especially Emma Bertrando, who wanted to make an impact from the opening tipoff.

“I wanted to come out strong and prove something,’ Bertrando said. “We had something to prove. We’re working hard and wanted to show that it’s paying off.’

Bertrando was a force from start to finish with a game-high 17 points, nine rebounds and five steals as West Chester Henderson scored the game’s first 11 points and never trailed in a 68-42 victory over West Chester East in a Ches-Mont Legaue National Division game Tuesday afternoon.

The Warriors (2-2 National, 5-4 overall) had four double-digit scorers in Bertrando, Maddie DePrisco (14 points), Julie Gawrylowicz (10 points) and Vikki Kneis (10 points). The Vikings (0-3 National, 0-8 overall) received a game-high 17 points from Maura McCloskey.

Henderson controlled the game from the opening tip and never let East close their lead to single digits. Bertrando had six points as the Warriors closed the first quarter leading 18-6.

East suffered early foul trouble with starters Holly Hager and Maddy Stiebritz. Hager had two fouls in the first four minutes and sat out for much of the first half.

With Hager on the bench, Henderson was able to control the pace of play, which led to plenty of offensive rebounds and easy putbacks.

“We’ve been talking a lot about rebounding and making our own luck,’ said Henderson head coach Greta Neff. “We got to get in there and rebound on the offensive and defensive end. That’s how we scored a lot of buckets tonight. I give a lot of credit to the kids for working hard and wanting the ball.’

“They beat us on second chance opportunities,’ said East head coach Erin Listrani. “We did not rebound well and get to loose balls good enough. We didn’t get back in transition defense. They beat us down the floor.’

Despite Hager sitting with two fouls, the Vikings remained within striking distance of the Henderson lead. McCloskey had five points while Kaitlyn Boyle added four as East trailed 34-20 at halftime.

Once the third quarter started, the Warriors pulled away thanks to the shooting of DePrisco.

Scoreless in the first half, DePrisco went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the second half as she had all of her 14 points in the final 16 minutes.

“I thought the first shot made was beginners luck,’ DePrisco said. “Being scoreless in the first half with two fouls, I needed to regroup. The momentum of the game took over soon after.’

Hager also regained her form in the second half with 11 points, all of which came with four fouls.

Despite the 0-8 start to the season, Listrani remains optimistic East’s first win is coming soon. The Vikings continue to play hard despite facing double-digit losses in the majority of their games.

“These girls are not quitters,’ Listrani said. “They work hard every single day. We believe in each other. The thing I love about this group is they just don’t stop fighting. We’re going to start getting some wins. They’re right around the corner.’

Henderson’s hard work and balanced scoring attack has led the Warriors to an over .500 record heading into the Christmas break. Despite the surprising start, the Warriors keep the expectations at a minimium.

“We just have to keep working hard,’ Bertrando said. “You can’t get overly confident. We’re just going to keep practicing and worry about our next opponent.’

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