EAST WHITELAND- A basketball team wants to be playing its best basketball coming into the District 1 6A playoffs. Friday night at Great Valley high School, the red hot West Chester Henderson boys team downed the number 13 seed, Great Valley, 60-52, in an overtime thriller.
Henderson senior Ryan Bell tied the game at 48-48 when he sank a long three-ball with three seconds to play in the fourth period and that gave the Warriors momentum as they dominated the overtime period to come away with the win and their seventh straight victory.
West Chester Henderson will now travel to Bensalem to meet the fourth seeded Owls Tuesday night 7 p.m while the season is over for Great Valley.
“I just knew the clock was running down and we needed a bucket,” Bell said. “That shot gave us a real push and the guys have worked so hard this seasoned we just took over the overtime. I do not want to take too much of the credit because all the guys played really well tonight.”
West Chester Henderson (16-7) led the entire game until late in the third period when the Patriots (16-7) super freshman Cam Wallace scored in tight to give the Patriots a 37-36 lead. Wallace was sensational for Great Valley as he led all scorers with 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
But the Warriors did not fade and trailing 48-45 with 18 seconds to play in the fourth period, they brought the ball up the floor and found Bell, who was very deep behind the arc, but his shot went through and the teams went to overtime. It was Bell’s fourth three-ball on the night as led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points.
It was all West Chester Henderson in the extra period as the 20th seeded Warriors outscored Great Valley 12-4 in overtime. Nyle Ralph-Beyer, who had 14 points on the night, drilled a three-ball to make it a 53-48 game with a little over two minutes left to play. But, Wallace came right back as he drove the lane for a basket and the score was 53-50 in favor of the Warriors with 1:49 to play.
After a Great Valley timeout, Connor Gal missed on a three-ball and Dylan Grim grabbed the rebound for the Warriors. The Warriors then found Grim all alone under the basket for a bucket and the Warriors lead climbed to 55-50 with 1:01 to play in overtime.
“This was a great atmosphere tonight with both student sections going at each other,” Grim said. “It was a physical game and once Ryan hit that shot to tie the game we felt that the overtime was going to be ours. We won our last game against Downingtown West on a buzzer beater and we have a lot of confidence right now.We were ready to go tonight from the first period.”
After a Great Valley turnover, Warriors sophomore Connor Fleet drained two free throws to build the West Chester Henderson lead to 57-50 with 53 seconds to play. Wallace drove the lane, got fouled and hit both free throws to make it a 57-52 game with 37 seconds to play.
West Chester Henderson then turned the ball over but the Patriots shots would not fall and the Warriors hung on for a very impressive win over a team they had lost to during the regular season.
“Ryan Bell was out with an injury the first time we played these guys and i felt if we were healthy we matched up pretty good with them,” West Chester Henderson coach Rob Fraturra said. “Ryan is our leader and he hit a real big shot. These kids we have are incredible. They have worked their tails off all year to get better and this is our seventh win in a row and they keep making things happen. I am just really pumped up right now for these kids.”
WC Henderson 60, Great Valley 52, OT
WC HENDERSON (60) Ralph-Beyer 6 0-0 14, Sirchio 0 0-0 0, Fleet 1 6-6 8, Grim 4 0-0 8, Suroweic 1 0-0 2, Smink 2 0-0 6, Jarden 2 3-4 7, Bell 4 3-4 15. Totals 20 12-14 60.
GREAT VALLEY (52) Wallace 10 10-14 30, Gal 6 0-0 14, Di media 0 1-2 1, Hefde 2 0-0 5, Peduto 1 0-0 2, otterbein 0 0-0 0, Mashett 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 11-16 52.
WC Henderson 12 9 14 13 12-60
Great Valley 9 10 13 16 4-52
3-point goals: Ralph-Beyer 2, Bell 4, Smink 2, Gal 2, Hegde.