Better defense the key for Chartiers Valley
While a loss to No. 2 Upper St. Clair, 77-68, in a non-section game does not impact No. 2 Chartiers Valley’s seeding in the WPIAL Class AAA boys’ basketball tournament, the defeat did expose a deficiency.
Before the Colts embark on their goal of winning a district championship, be assured floor boss Tim McConnell will correct the problem.
“Absolutely,” he said. “We’ve got to play better defense.”
An effort such as their performance in a Section 5-AAA finale will do. In clinching that league title, the Colts defeated South Fayette, 60-43. They held one of the WPIAL’s leading scorers, Evan Bonnaure to 10 tallies and Pitt football recruit, Zach Challingsworth, to 11 markers.
In fact, in rolling up a 19-3 overall record, 11-1 mark in the section, the Colts have limited the opposition to 49.4 points per game while racking up 73.7 an outing.
“We played really well against South Fayette,” McConnell said. “We played good defense. Against USC, we played real good defense in the first quarter, but then the wheels fell off.”
After bolting to a 22-8 lead, CV surrendered 24 points to the Panthers, 18 of which came on 3-point field goals. USC knocked down 10 treys in the contest. The Panthers overcame a five-point halftime deficit, 37-32, and bolted into the lead, 52-43, by third quarter’s end.
On J.J. Conn’s 3-pointer, USC forged its first lead of the contest, 43-40. Conn buried three, 3-point field goals and finished with 23 tallies.
Jordan Grabowski led all scorers. He buried five treys, four in the second stanza, and finished with a game-high 29 points.
Also in double digits was Joel Klein. He fired in 10 points, knocking in six on a 3-pointer in each of the last two quarters. Will Ross kicked in six points while Nick Staley came off the bench and tossed in five points in the final frame.
Mark Boulos pumped in 20 points to lead the Colts, who connected on eight, 3-pointers. Also in double figures were Spencer Casson (13), Dom Castello (12) and Matty McConnell (14). Haedyn Herzer finished with nine markers.
The Colts, who last won a WPIAL title at the Quad-A level out of USC’s section in 2010, are aiming for their sixth championship under McConnell but the competition poses serious challenges to those objectives.
“The goal is to win it, absolutely,” McConnell said of the Class AAA crown. “It won’t be easy in AAA. There are eight to 10 very good teams. Mars is very good and Montour and Beaver are two teams that beat us. We’ll find our seeding and play them as we go but it will be tough.”
Notes: In CV’s win against South Fayette, McConnell led with 20 points. Boulos and Casson followed with 15 and 10 tallies.