WEST CHESTER -- Overtime games have become a common theme for West Chester Henderson this season.
The previous four have resulted in a win for the Warriors. Chris Bruno and his squad were determined to make it five, especially with second place of the Ches-Mont League National Division at stake.
"This group of kids, even though they're a little bit younger, they do a great job of keeping their composure,' Bruno said. "They realize they are in the game for a reason and they give themselves a chance to win.'
All part of the game plan.
Colin Costello scored 10 points and hit two free throws with under a minute to go in overtime to give Henderson the lead for good in a 48-43 win over Bishop Shanahan on Thursday night.
The win placed the Warriors (4-3, 8-6) in a three-way tie for second place in the National with Shanahan (4-3, 9-6) and Downingtown East, which defeated Coatesville to put each team a game behind the Red Raiders for first place in the division.
"That game was huge for us tonight,' Costello said. "Being in second place puts us in a good position to get in the Ches-Mont Final Four. That's all we want.'
Henderson used the result from their earlier meeting against Shanahan as motivation for the rematch in their home gym. The Eagles beat the Warriors 57-31 in December.
"Our guys had a chip on their shoulder from the last time we played them,' Bruno said. "We watched that game yesterday and the guys just had that memory in their heads and came out ready to play with the game plan.'
Wes Smith hit two 3-pointers to start the game and give Henderson the early 6-2 lead. After Joseph Lord hit a three to give Shanahan a 7-6 lead, Bruno's real game plan was executed.
"We wanted to play good, hard fundamental defense and rebound,' Bruno said. "They did an excellent job of that in the first half.'
The Warriors went on a 17-1 run between the first and second quarter to take a commanding 23-8 lead with 2:40 left in the second quarter. Costello had six points during that stretch.
As for Smith, he was doing what very few defenders have done to Shanahan sharpshooter Mike Booth to that point: holding him scoreless.
Booth finally connected on his first field goal with 1:44 left in the half. The Eagles went into the break trailing 28-13, which Booth only scoring three points.
That changed in the third quarter.
Shanahan went on a 13-2 spurt, led by Booth's smooth stroke. Booth drained a long two pointer, followed by a three, then hit all three free throw attempts after drawing contact on a 3-point attempt from the corner and finished with a three during the run.
Booth's 11 points cut Henderson's lead to 30-26 late in the quarter.
"I got more comfortable in the game the second half,' Booth said. "Our team started to make shots and got better as a whole. We got a lot of heart and mental toughness on our side. We've been coming back from deficits all year.'
Tyler Ramirez hit a three at the end of the third as Henderson took a 33-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Henderson had a 36-32 lead with under three to go, but Booth was determined to get Shanahan back in the game.
After a steal for a quick two put the Eagles within two, Shanahan forced another turnover and immediately fed Booth. The senior hit a long two to tie the game at 36 with 2:04 left in regulation.
Trailing 39-38 with 53.4 left, Doug Costin was fouled under the rim and hit one-of-two from the line to tie it at 39.
Henderson's ensuing possession resulted in a traveling violation, gibing Shanahan a chance to win it in regulation.
Booth penetrated to the left of the foul line, pulled up and his shot landed in front of the rim sending the game to overtime.
"I thought it was going to go in,' Booth said. "I didn't get my legs into it and it came up a little short. It happens.'
Joe Lord gave Shanahan their first lead since the first quarter with a jumper to put the Eagles up 43-42 with 1:12 left.
Unfortunately for Shanahan, they were caught in the double bonus for all of the overtime period. It hurt them in the final minute.
The Warriors hit all six of their free throws in that stretch to pull away with the victory.
Booth had a game-high 18 for the Eagles, 15 came in the second half. Smith finished with 10 for the Warriors.
As the second half of league play commenced, Bruno relayed the message to his team on how to play out the rest of the league schedule."Whatever is in our control, we have an impact on,' Bruno said. "If it's out of our control, there's nothing we can do about it. We're just going to take it one game at a time.'
West Chester Henderson 48
Bishop Shanahan 43, OT
BISHOP SHANAHAN: Booth 6 3-3 18, Costin 2 4-6 8, Corcoran 2 1-2 5, Alderman 2 1-1 5, Lord 2 0-0 5, Murphy 1 0-0 2, Hilton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 9-12 43.
W.C. HENDERSON: Costello 3 4-5 10, Smith 3 1-2 10, Bady 3 0-0 7, Armstrong 1 4-4 6, DiMatteo 1 3-4 5, Vermeil 2 0-0 5, Ramirez 1 0-0 3, Green 1 0-0 2, Goldfine 0 0-0 0, DiNacci 0 0-0 0, Richard 0 0-0 0, Huber 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 12-15 48.
Bishop Shanahan 7 6 13 13 4--43
W.C. Henderson 9 19 5 6 9--48
3-point goals: Booth 3, lord; Smith 3, Ramirez, Bady, Vermeil.