Washington Township leans on Wert twins

Washington Township's Wert twins, Dana and Shawna, were late getting home on a recent Monday because they were busy receiving an award from the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association.

Dana was named to the all-South Jersey first-team defense; Shawna was named an all-South Jersey first-team midfielder.

Soccer "keeps you conditioned and it's competitive," said Shawna, who agreed with her sister that basketball is their first love.

And that is good news for the Minutemaids, for whom the 16-year-old daughters of Keith and Jerri Wert are starting guards.

Last season as sophomores, the Werts helped lead the Minutemaids to the Olympic Conference American Division basketball cochampionship, tying Lenape for the title.

Dana averaged nine points a game, making 25 three-point shots. She also chipped in six assists and five steals a game. Shawna averaged 10 points per game, making 34 treys. She added three assists, three rebounds and three steals a game

Township coach Jennifer Natale described Dana as a quick, smart, intense floor leader with excellent defensive skills. Natale said Shawna is tenacious at both ends of the court and has a quick first step.

The Werts both stand 5-foot-8 and have their father to thank for their basketball skills. Keith Wert, who placed the girls on a travel team when they were in the fourth grade, coaches his daughters on the AAU Under-16 squad, the Tri-State Tar Heels.

"We've been playing on it for four years," Dana said. "We've traveled to Richmond and Penn State. We've played good competition."

Washington Township's roster does not have a lot of height this season, but the division is not heavy on talented post players. With the Wert sisters playing both ends of the court, and making those around them play better, Township should contend.

"Our goal for the [Township] team is to win the division," Dana said. "We haven't won the South Jersey title, and that's a goal."