Undefeated Henderson settles old score with Mount, advances to first-ever district final

Lower Merion >> West Chester Henderson’s 61-42 win against Mount St. Joseph’s in the PIAA District 1 5A semifinals Tuesday not only put the Warriors (27-0) in the district final for the first time ever, but it settled an old score.
Last year, Henderson, as the No. 2 seed, faced seventh-seeded Mount in the district quarterfinals and lost in overtime, 50-46, after holding an early lead.
“Before tonight’s game, Coach [Greta Neff] told us, ‘This is payback time,’” said Henderson junior forward Grace Ferguson. “I think that’s why we had so much energy in the first half. We really went at Mount.”

To view a photo gallery of Henderson’s win against Mount click here

Henderson got off to a red-hot start Tuesday against fifth-seeded Mount, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first 39 seconds of the contest at Harriton High School. By halftime, the Warriors led 39-17.
Warrior senior forward Abbey Shea, who scored 13 first-half points, said, “In the first half, we were staying composed, making the extra pass. I think it’s probably the best half we’ve played this season.”
With the victory, the Warriors will now face No. 3 seed Villa Maria in the District 1 5A finals Saturday at noon at Temple University. The Hurricanes downed second-seeded West Chester Rustin, 69-58, in the other district semifinal played earlier at Harriton Tuesday.
Henderson exploded for 27 points in the first quarter against Mount. Junior guard Erin Thompson (who led all game scorers with 15 points) nailed a couple of threes, and Shea worked her way inside for four first-period field goals. Senior guard Maddie DePrisco (seven assists) led the passing attack.
Meanwhile, Henderson’s tough defense was not letting Mount establish much offensively.
“Abbey, Maddie, Erin, all of our players were getting their hands in every passing lane,” said Neff. “And whenever the ball was tipped, everybody on our team was ready to grab it.”
Henderson’s defense was aggressive – and skillful. The Warriors were whistled for only eight fouls all night.
Neff noted, “If Mount got past our guards, our big girls stepped up.”
Ferguson led the way underneath with four blocked shots and eight rebounds, but a lot of Warriors got in the act, including Shea (six rebounds, two blocks), Erin Torrance (five rebounds), and Thompson (two blocks).
Henderson senior guard Adrienne Smith put an exclamation point on the Warriors’ explosive first quarter, scoring a couple of quick back-to-back field goals in the final 35 seconds of the period. The first came on a drive following a steal, the second was on a putback just before the buzzer, to give the top seeded Warriors a 27-10 lead. Smith finished the night with 13 points and six rebounds.
“Adrienne gave us a heck of a spark off the bench,” noted Neff.
Smith said, “We had so much energy tonight coming from our student section tonight, and from our bench. We had a whole busload of students come up here for the game. It means everything to us to get to the district final – we worked very hard to get to this point.”
In the third quarter, Mount mounted some transition offense, led by 5-foot-10 freshman Grace Niekelski (who finished with 10 points) and 5-foot-10 sophomore Kelly Rothenberg. For the Magic, Rothenberg finished with eight points, senior forward Megan Dodaro got nine and sophomore guard Lauren Vesey scored seven.
Next up for the Warriors is their first-ever PIAA District 1 5A championship final, against Villa Maria (19-6).
“Villa Maria is a very discilpined team,” said Neff. “We’ll have our work cut out for us. Tonight, we’re going to enjoy this victory, and then we’ll be back to work tomorrow [Wednesday].”

West Chester Henderson 61, Mount St. Joseph’s 42
Mount St. Joseph’s: Zipfel 0 0-0 0, Vesey 2 2-2 7, Rothenberg 3 0-0 8, Sistrunk 1 0-0 2, Cunningham 1 0-0 3, Niekelski 4 1-4 10, Regan 1 0-0 3, Dodaro 4 1-1 9, Totals 16 4-7 42.
West Chester Henderson: DePrisco 2 2-2 7, Thompson 5 2-4 15, Torrance 1 0-0 2, Meredith 0 2-2 2, Amarant 0 0-0 0, Smith 6 1-1 13, Shea 6 2-3 14, Ferguson 2 4-7 8. Totals 22 13-19 61.
Mount St. Joseph’s           10  7  17   8 – 42
West Chester Henderson 27 12 10 12 – 61
3-point goals: Vesey, Rothenberg 2, Niekelski, Cunningham, Regan, DePrisco, Thompson 3, .

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply