Henderson holds off Downingtown East

WEST CHESTER — The West Chester Henderson boys basketball team finished its game with Downingtown East on Tuesday the same way they started it. The Warriors showed energy and shooting prowess to jet out to a 12-point, first-period lead after four minutes and played flawless basketball in the fourth period to preserve a 51-41 Ches-Mont League National Division win at Jim Reichert Gymnasium.

Wes Smith led the Warriors (2-0, National, 9-4 overall) with 13 points, Andy Vermeil had 11 and Tyler Ramirez added eight to pace a balanced attack.

“We wanted to get out early and we have a lot of guys who can shoot the ball,’ Henderson guard Jason Bady said. We have Tyler, Wes, Colin Costello, Andy and myself, so we spread the ball around and that was the gameplan to move the ball around and get the open shot and we shot well early in the game.’

Bady had five points to go with five assists along with a monster dunk late in the second period that electrified the Henderson faithful. They jumped out to a 14-2 lead after four minutes but the Cougars (0-2, 5-5) cut the margin to seven at halftime, 28-21. Downingtown East was led by the play of junior Cary Angeline, who led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed eight boards.

Angeline did not get much help though. Marquan Galimore had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, only two others scored points.

East did make a charge in the third. Galimore hit a three at the top of the key to cut the lead to 28-24 with 3:08 left. But the Cougars turned the ball over two straight times down the floor which led to points as Henderson bumped the advantage to 37-30 after three.

“Henderson has a lot of guys with varsity experience,’ Downingtown East coach John Goodman said. “We need to get Cary some help, but we are a young team that is still growing and trying to get guys varsity experience.’

The Cougars did not go away despite shooting 18 for 42 (43 percent). Angeline scored down low early in the fourth to cut the margin to 37-32. After a Costello miss, Angeline scored from the low block again to cut the lead to 37-34 with 6:22 to play.

“We knew they would make a run,’ Smith said. “But, we stuck to our game plan of spreading the floor and only taking good shots and we came out with the win.’

Costello scored on a driving layup and foul to make it a 37-30 game with 5:34 left. Brian Armstrong hit three of four free throws down the stretch as Henderson pulled the ball out and masterfully spread the floor.

Smith scored on a follow to make it 44-34 with 1:52 remaining. Ramirez then scored on a run out to close the game out and give Henderson a 47-34 lead seconds later. Henderson only turned the ball over five times for the game.

“We started the first period with energy and finished the fourth period with poise,’ Henderson coach Chris Bruno said. “We shot the ball well early and we wanted to get out to an early lead and that was the key for us.’

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