West Chester – West Chester Henderson got off to a fast start Tuesday evening with a 15-0 run in the first half, en route to defeating Coatesville, 45-36.
The host Warriors (5-6) held a 7-4 lead midway through the first quarter when they began their 15-0 run. Henderson freshman guard/forward Jackie Shea scored underneath on a nice feed by freshman guard Whitney Evans, then following a Coatesville travelling violation, Evans drove in for a basket. Just before the end of the first period, Evans hit a trey from the left corner to make it 14-4.
“Our kids attacked the basket,” said Henderson head coach Greta Neff. “Coatesville gets after you for the full court, and I thought Whitney and Molly [Manion] and our bigs did a good job getting to the basket and being in the right spots to make shots.”
Evans, the younger sister of former Henderson star hoopster Shante Evans, finished the night with 18 points and nine rebounds.
“I really look up to Shante; she gives me little pointers here and there,” said Evans, who is averaging 16 points per game and five rebounds per contest this season
Henderson continued its 15-0 run through the early part of the second quarter. Senior guard Molly Manion hit from the outside, then following a Coatesville missed shot, senior guard Jane Halladay scored after a nice feed to give the Warriors an 18-4 lead.
A few minutes later, Henderson senior guard Hannah Meredith likewise scored from underneath after a good feed; then following a Coatesville offensive foul, senior guard Brittney Forcine hit from mid-range to give the hosts a 22-4 lead and cap the 15-0 run.
Neff said, “I think a few of our kids came in and gave us some really good minutes – Jane Halladay and Brittney Forcine came off the bench and gave us a good spark, Hannah Meredith did a nice job and gave us some good minutes too. I thought it was a nice team effort out there, and we rebounded pretty well today.”
Manion and Ellie Shea combined for a dozen rebounds and four blocked shots. Shea also did a nice job guarding Coatesville freshman Aidan Langley, who scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against powerful Downingtown East Feb. 13.
“I give Ellie Shea a lot of credit – she guarded [Langley] all night; she took one hit after another, and I thought Ellie did a good job of [defending] her and making her use her left hand,” said Neff.
Coatesville (2-8), trailing 22-8 at halftime, started to heat up in the third quarter, scoring 18 points to cut the hosts’ lead to 35-26 at the end of the third period.
“I think we learned today that against any good team in our league, including West Chester Henderson, we can’t get off to a slow start like we did tonight,” said Coatesville head coach Scott Barker. “Henderson played well today, but we were sluggish [early] – the first time that’s happened this season, we’re a young team, and we’ve got to learn from that and make sure the next time we play a team like Henderson we’re ready to play for all four quarters.
“I was encouraged by our resiliency tonight; some teams would have quit mentally when they came out for the second half, but I was encouraged with how well we played when we played at full speed – our challenge now is to do that with consistency all four quarters.”
Coatesville junior guard Danae Ellzy, who has led the Raiders in scoring both this season and in the 2019-20 campaign, paced the Raiders Tuesday evening with nine points, all of them in the second half.
Early in the fourth quarter, Evans hit both ends of a one-and-one, then following a Coatesville missed shot nailed a trey from the right corner to give the hosts a 40-26 lead. With three minutes left, the hosts still held a 42-26 lead. The visitors chipped away at that lead the rest of the game but never got closer than seven points.
Barker said, “We had consistent effort in the second half, like we’re playing Coatesville basketball. Fortunately we’re playing tomorrow [Wednesday] night so we want to start tomorrow night the way we finished tonight.
“We’re starting 3-4 freshmen, so if we’re learning and getting better every game, then we’re moving in the right direction.”
West Chester Henderson 45, Coatesville 36
Coatesville 4 4 18 10 – 36
West Chester Henderson 14 8 13 10 – 45
Coatesville (36): Butcher 1 0-0 3, Fields 2 3-3 7, Morris 2 2-2 6, Burgess 1 0-0 2, Ellzy 4 0-1 9, Ward 1 0-0 2, Langley 3 1-2 7, Margolin 0 0-0 0, Totals 14 6-18 36.
West Chester Henderson (45): J. Shea 2 0-0 4, DePrisco 0 0-0 0, Evans 5 6-7 18, Forcine 2 0-0 5, Halladay 2 0-2 4, G. Nanni 0 1-2 1, M. Nanni 0 0-4 0, Meredith 1 0-0 2, Manion 3 2-5 8, E. Shea 1 1-2 3, Totals 16 10-18 45.
Three-point field goals: CO – Butcher, Ellzy. WCH – Evans 2, Forcine.