CV buries Mount Pleasant, 95-62

Published Feb 19, 2014 at 12:38 am (Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 12:38 am)

Whether or not a player on the Chartiers Valley boys’ basketball team sees the playing court, depends on whether they fulfill their purpose.

“Give me a reason to put you in the game,” Tim McConnell said he tells his players.

Seven of them gave the CV floor boss 21 reasons as they pummeled Mount Pleasant, 95-62, in a first-round WPIAL Class AAA playoff game at Peters Township.

In trouncing the No. 16 seed in the tournament, the Colts, who are ranked No. 4 in the state of Pennsylvania, accumulated 63 points via long-range shots. Cousins Matt McConnell and Jerrad Tuite buried six 3-pointers each and finished with game-high 22 markers.

Jake Ritson came off the bench and fired in four baskets from beyond the arc. The junior racked up 12 tallies.

Eddie Flohr posted 14 points, six off treys, while Joe Antonucci finished with 10 points. Sophomores Nick Jesslowski and Cole Horew as well as freshman Coleman Vaughn also knocked down 3-pointers.

“We shot extremely well,” said McConnell. “We work on shooting every day in practice. We scouted them and watched tape on them and noticed how they really liked to play zone.”

And, the Colts busted the zone immediately. They jumped ahead, 8-0, before settling into a 25-19 advantage after one frame.

“We knew they would have a size advantage,” McConnell said. “We did not want to let them bring the ball up the floor and pound it inside so it was important to start well.”

Though CV opened up a 40-20 lead, Luke Liprand (22 points), Mitch Matlas (13) and Marcus Malara (12) rallied the Vikings, who cut the margin to 44-32 by halftime. McConnell was not pleased with his Colts’ play before intermission.

“When they made that little run before the half ended, we were not taking care of the ball the way we usually do,” he said.

McConnell also noted how important the third quarter was. CV exploded for 26 points in the next eight minutes. All but two of the tallies came off eight, 3-point field goals.

“We needed to put them away before they got too much confidence. Not let them get back into the game,” explained McConnell of the uprising. “We zinged them at the beginning of the third quarter and that was a key.”

Teamwork factored into the triumph as it has in CV’s other victories this winter. The Colts’ offense, which generates 73.2 points per game, emphasizes the ‘extra pass’ and showcases the players’ deft ball-handling skills.

“You may hear my players say ‘one more’ even if they maybe wide open. They love to make that extra pass. We do that all the time,” McConnell said.

Against Mt. Pleasant, McConnell added, “we moved the ball well and we shared well. When we do that, we win games.”

The Colts take their 22-1 record into the quarterfinals where they will face Mars (15-8) on Friday, Feb. 21 at a site and time to be determined. The Planets edged Steel Valley, 67-61, in overtime.

Owen Nearhoof leads Mars with a 19-point average. He had 18 in the win against the Ironmen. John Castello topped out with 25 and Alex Gruber supplied 16 markers.

In other Class AAA boys’ first-round play, South Fayette succumbed to No. 3 Elizabeth-Forward, 47-40, at Canon-McMillan. For the Lions, who finished the season at 13-11 overall, Nick McKee and Jack Relihan fired in 12 and 10 tallies respectively.

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