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Section 5-AAA gets tougher with addition of Chartiers Valley

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who 2 watch

preseason player of the year

DEVIN WILSON

Montour

6-4, Sr., Guard

13.0 ppg

players to watch

ZACH CHALLINGSWORTH

South Fayette

6-2, Sr., G, 15.3 ppg

STERLING HENRY

Kittanning

6-4, Sr., G, 18.9 ppg

RYAN MAHA

West Mifflin

6-0, Jr., G, 14.7 ppg

OWEN NEARHOOF

Mars

5-11, Jr., G, 14.5 ppg

CORY SEVACKO

Keystone Oaks

6-3, Sr., F, 15.6 ppg

preseason top 10

1. Chartiers Valley (20-3)

One of Quad-A's best teams dropped to Class AAA when WPIAL realigned its sections.

2. Montour (24-5)

Spartans return two double-digit scorers: Devin Wilson (13.0) and Kevin Sciulli (15.2).

3. Mars (18-8)

Planets feature scoring trio who averaged 37.1 points, including 6-foot-8 Josh Goetz.

4. South Fayette (16-7)

WPIAL's fourth-best team could finish third in its own section, with CV now there.

5. West Mifflin (13-9)

Coach's son Ryan Maha, a talented point guard, ranks among the area's top juniors.

6. Blackhawk (14-10)

Cougars helped by return of three football players and 6-8 Brendan Barrett.

7. Thom. Jefferson (10-13)

Jaguars' strong junior class gained experience while team had very few upperclassmen.

8. Uniontown (15-7)

Red Raiders have won two straight Section 3 titles but graduated Marcus Thomas.

9. Kittanning (9-14)

Top two scorers return from team that won 6 of its last 8 section games a season ago.

10. Beaver (19-8)

Bobcats retain some talent from playoff run but lose Darian Bradley to torn ACL.

section favorites

section 1

mars

The Planets return all five starters from last season's lineup that reached the state playoffs, including leading scorer Owen Nearhoof (14.7 ppg). They also return 6-3 Matt Getsy, 6-1 Mitch Buzard, 6-0 Garrett Ashbaugh and 6-8 Josh Goetz on a deep roster that won 18 games. Mars has seven players who started at least five games last season.

section 2

blackhawk

With New Castle moving to Quad-A, this section race could be wide open. Blackhawk lost its top two scorers from last season's team, which won 18 games and reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. But the Cougars regain junior Chandler Kincade, who sat out last season with a shoulder injury from football. Beaver, Central Valley, Ambridge and West Allegheny also should be competitive.

section 3

UNIONTOWN

A third consecutive section title seems possible for the Red Raiders, who return four experienced players from last season's team that finished 15-7 but graduated leading scorer Marcus Thomas (18.8 ppg). Returning are seniors Christian Kezmarsky (5-11) and Dreher Winfrey (5-11), and juniors Jordan Pratt (6-2) and junior Xavier Ellis (6-1).

section 4

west mifflin

Junior point guard Ryan Maha, the team's top scorer a season ago, is one of three starters returning from a lineup that was 13-9 and reached the playoffs. The others are seniors Derek Fulmore (6-0) and Cye Murphy (6-2), but creating a mismatch in the middle could be Cleve Randolph, a 6-8, 275-pound senior center.

section 5

chartiers valley

The Colts, who were one of the top programs in Quad-A the past four seasons, drop back to Class AAA in the latest WPIAL section realignment. They return 6-6 senior Spencer Casson from a team that finished 20-3 last season.

Top high school sports
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Chartiers Valley, Montour and South Fayette are contenders for the WPIAL Class AAA crown.

Yet, barring ties, one of those three won't finish better than third in its own section now that Chartiers Valley has relocated to Section 5-AAA with those other championship-caliber hopefuls.

“We're probably all among the top five teams (in Class AAA),” Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell said, “but it could be us, Montour or South Fayette finishing third.”

For four seasons, Chartiers Valley was among the top programs in Quad-A, reaching the title game in 2011. But the latest WPIAL section realignment moved the Colts down in classification to where they were in 2010 when they reached the state championship game.

They join a section with plenty of championship-game medals. Montour was PIAA runner-up last season. South Fayette won the Class AA state title in 2010.

“Our section will definitely be the strongest (in Class AAA),” McConnell said, “with Montour and South Fayette, plus South Park is big and (Keystone Oaks) has some good players. It's going to be tough.”

Realignment shifted the landscape of Class AAA. Along with adding Chartiers Valley, the latest shuffle moved out last season's finalists. New Castle (27-1) and Hampton (25-5) now are contenders to win the Class AAAA title.

The Colts could have remained in Class AAAA, but the school favored the move down.

“We're going to play where our numbers fall,” McConnell said. “We're Triple-A this year, and we're excited to be here.”

But they haven't cut all ties with Class AAAA. Chartiers Valley scheduled nonsection games with Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon to maintain those rivalries.

The Colts graduated most of last season's starting lineup that finished 20-3, including leading scorer Wayne Capers (17.2 ppg).

This season's lineup likely will feature seniors Spencer Casson and Mike Boulos, juniors Jared Tuite and Dom Castellano, and sophomore Matty McConnell. Their success could rest with Casson, who McConnell wants to become more selfish.

“Defensively, I think he's going to be really good,” McConnell said. “I need him to be more offensive-minded. He's really unselfish. When you throw the ball into the post, he should be scoring. Instead, he wants to kick it out to our guards to shoot threes.”

The 6-foot-6 forward was a starter last season.

“We want him to be a monster,” McConnell said.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at charlan@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


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