Kehler on Hoops: Bensalem Defeats West Chester Henderson 57-42

Written by: on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022



Bensalem advanced to the PIAA Class 6A state championship tournament by defeating visiting West Chester Henderson 57-42 on Tuesday night in the second round of the PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoffs. West Chester Henderson may still qualify for the state championship tournament, depending on their performance in the District 1 consolation bracket.

Bensalem erased an 11 point second quarter deficit in winning this game. Henderson got off to a terrific start in this contest, repeatedly switching defenses, grabbing rebounds, and forcing turnovers. Bensalem committed four turnovers in the first quarter and were out rebounded nine to four in the opening frame. Bensalem’s man-to-man defense had difficulty containing Henderson sophomore Nyle Ralph-Beyer, who scored eight points in the first quarter. Ralph-Beyer’s second three pointer of the first frame gave Henderson a 14-7 lead after eight minutes of play.

Coming off the bench, Henderson senior Stephen Sirchio opened the second quarter scoring with a floater, then he stole the ball and scored on a nifty spin move, and Henderson was up 18-7. This was Henderson’s high water mark, as Bensalem quickly responded with two free throws by 6′ 7″ Allen Meyers and two drives by Myers. Henderson had great difficulty defending Myers all game long. Bensalem’s defense was far more aggressive from the second quarter on. Bensalem’s half court defensive pressure began to disrupt Henderson’s offense in the second frame. As the second period progressed, Henderson’s half court sets started closer and closer to the mid court line. Henderson also developed ball security problems, committing five turnovers in the second frame. Down 20-13 in the second quarter, Bensalem went on an 11-1 run to take the lead for good. That decisive Bensalem run started with a hoop inside by 6′ 2″ senior Tra Edwards and continued with a three point play on a drive by 6′ senior Jeremy Rodriguez and two three pointers, one by 6′ 1″ senior Aaron Sanders and one by Rodriguez, giving Bensalem their first lead of the game at 24-21.

Henderson’s ball handling woes continued in the second half, as they committed four turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter. By this time, Henderson’s offensive continuity was lost. Bensalem steadily increased their lead in the third frame, capped by a putback by Myers and a fast break layup by 5′ 10″ sophomore Antonio Morris at the end of the third quarter, putting Bensalem up 41-30 after three quarters. Henderson had no answer in the fourth quarter, and Bensalem’s lead was up to 18 early in the final frame. Henderson committed some useless fouls in the last 3:45, prolonging the inevitable.

Each team had 26 rebounds. Henderson committed 16 turnovers, and Bensalem committed 14. Seven of Bensalem’s turnovers were in the fourth quarter, when the game had already been decided. Bensalem was 16 of 24 from the free throw line, and Henderson was five of 10. Each team made five shots from beyond the arc. There were two ties and one lead change.

Bensalem scoring: Allen Myers 19, Jeremy Rodriguez 16, Arron Sanders 8, Tra Edwards 7, Eric Gonzalez 3, Antonio Morris 3, and Sadeq Whahab 1.

West Chester Henderson scoring: Nyle Ralph-Beyer 13, Connor Fleet 8, Dylan Grim 7, Stephen Sirchio 6, Ryan Bell 5, and Ethan Jardan 3.

West Chester Henderson 14 9 7 12-42
Bensalem 7 17 17 16-57

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