Saturday, February 6, 2016

Basketball: Cherry East edges Cherry West

By Phil Anastasia

Basketball: Cherry East edges Cherry West


By Phil Anastasia

The coolest thing about Hank Davis' game-winning layup wasn't that it occurred with 0:02 on the clock.

It wasn't that the basket lifted Cherry Hill East to a 47-45 victory over Cherry Hill West before a large, animated crowd in the Lions' gymnasium.

It was that the shot was courtesy of Davis' right hand.

"My dad will be happy about that," said Davis, a left-hander. "He's always telling me I can't go right."

Davis' layup came at the end of a long, tense possession that began after Cherry Hill West's Rodney Williams tied the score at 45-45 with a layup at the 0:47 mark.

Williams, a junior guard, finished with 12 points in the game and 999 points in his career.

Cherry Hill East worked the clock before senior forward Gary Hettinger passed to Davis near midcourt with around 10 seconds to play.

"I knew I had to make a play," Davis said. "I was going to drive and if they collapsed, kick it out. But the lane opened up for me."

Hettinger scored 21 with three assists and junior guard Austin Wetzler added 12 points on four three-pointers for Cherry Hill East (10-3), which won for the eighth time in its last ninth games.

The Cougars, who made 10 three-pointers, played without sophomore guard Jake Silpe, who was on the bench with an illness.

"We had a great back-up quarterback in Hank Davis," Cherry Hill East coach Dave Allen said. "He'll remember that shot for the rest of his life."

Senior forward Will Plenty scored 13 and senior swingman Kevin Mullarkey added 12 for Cherry Hill West (6-5).

The Lions battled back from a 32-23 deficit midway in the third quarter and twice took the lead in the final minutes.

"It was a great crowd, great game, great day," Cherry Hill West coach Hamasi Tarrant said. 'Well, almost a great day."

Cherry Hill East 15 12 9 11 -- 47
Cherry Hill West 9 13 13 10 -- 45

CHE: Austin Wetzler 12, Hank Davis 4, Gary Hettinger 21, Andrew Brown 8, Ravin Patel 2.

CHW: Rodney Williams 12, Will Plenty 13, Ryan Lee 2, Sean Mullarkey 6, Kevin Mullarkey 12.

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at

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