WEST GOSHEN - Friday night's nonleague battle between two teams that suffered bad losses the night before, went to the hungry West Chester Henderson High School boys basketball team. The Warriors, who were shut out in the first period on Thursday night against Bishop Shanahan, looked like a different team against Octorara at Jim Reichert Gymnasium.
Henderson bolted out to a 25-11 lead after one period, shooting 10 for 15 in the period and rolled to a convincing 81-61 win over the Braves. The Warriors (2-2) put 10 players in the scoring column, led by Colin Costello's 20 points, but got big games from Wes Smith, who totaled 12 points, including two big buckets in the third period and Jensen Goldfine, who added nine points."After the loss last night we decided we had to come out strong and with a lot of energy,' Goldfine said. "We had to see what kind of team we were and we showed we are a good team tonight.'
Henderson, who never trailed in the game, opened up a big 45-27 edge at halftime with Colin Costello leading the way in the opening half. Costello had a stretch of forcing two straight turnovers and scoring off both of them. The junior had 14 points in the first half. Andy Vermeil chipped in by hitting two three-pointers and the Henderson team looked two steps quicker than the Braves.
Henderson opened up a 41-25 lead late in the second period and Octorara continued to miss shots, going just 6 for 16 in the second period.
Octorara (3-2) turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and were getting beat down the court by the energized Warriors. The Braves shot just nine for 27 in the first half and looked like they were going to lose by 40 points."We got behind so far early it is hard to come back,' Octorara coach Gene Lambert said. "But, give Henderson credit. They hit shots tonight and Chris Bruno (Henderson coach) did a nice job of getting his kids back after a loss. They did a better job of bouncing back than we did.'
The Braves did a good job of getting back to within 11 points in the third period, with the Warriors turning the ball over seven times in the third period to aid the Braves comeback. Octorara got good games from Devante White and Tarajoe Brake, who scored 14 and 11 points, and when Brake scored on a runner to make it 58-47, it may have been time for Henderson to get nervous.
But, Smith drained a long three-pointer and Goldfine followed that with a three-pointer from the top of the key to keep the lead safe."I was on the bench and getting nervous when they started to come back,' Smith said. "We saw on tape that they come out of the locker room and play well in the third period, so I knew when I got back in the game I had to score. After last night, we knew we had to come with a ton of energy tonight.'
Henderson shot 30 for 52 on the night, while the Braves struggled from the field, shooting just 18 for 55. The fourth period was tied at 15-15 and Henderson strolled off the court, putting Costello, Smith, Mark DiMatteo in double figures and getting a lot of contributions from everybody."We played real good defense in the first half and I was ecstatic about that and the energy we brought tonight,' said Bruno, Henderson's coach. "We played poorly last night and we wanted to get back to playing with intensity and keeping the Henderson tradition of playing hard alive and I feel we did that tonight."I have known Gene Lambert a long time and his teams always come out in the third period and play inspired basketball. So, we knew they were going to come at us and we responded tonight.'
For the Braves, it was the second bad loss in a row and Lambert talked about the season's ups and downs."We are a young team and that is not an excuse, but we were 3-0 and now we are 3-2 so we have to find something to get us back going in the right direction again,' he said.
W.C. Henderson 81, Octorara 61
OCTORARA: White 6 1-3 14, Brake 5 0-0 11, Rodgers 3 2-7 8, Forman 3 6-6 12, Reynolds 0 4-6 4, Ray 1 5-8 7, cooper 0 5-7 5, Owens 0 0-0 0, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Dickinson 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 23-38 61.
W.C. HENDERSON: Costello 7 6-6 20, Smith 5 0-1 12, DiMatteo 5 1-1 11, Ramirez 4 0-1 9, Bady 1 4-6 6, Goldfine 3 2-2 9, Armstrong 2 0-0 4, Vermeil 2 0-0 6, Griffith 1 1-1 3, DiNacci 0 1-2 1, Huber 0 0-2 0, Richard 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 15-22 81.
Octorara 11 16 19 15 - 61
W.C. Henderson 25 20 21 15 - 81
3-point goals: Ramirez, Goldfine, Smith, Vermeil 2, White, Brake.