Chartiers Valley downs Keystone Oaks in Section 5-AAA showdown
After defeating Keystone Oaks 98-82 last week, Chartiers Valley boys basketball coach Tim McConnell said he would like to his senior center Spencer Casson reproduce similar stats the rest of the season.
Of course, any coach would like to see a player average a triple-double.
Casson finished the game with 22 points, 12 blocks and 17 rebounds to lead the Colts to the victory and record his third triple-double this season.
“I told him that is the consistency I want to see night-in, night-out,” McConnell said. “I'm not saying we need 20 points but double-digit points, double-digit rebounds and we know he'll block shots. Selfishly, I would like to see him have a triple-double the rest of the year.”
Chartiers Valley jumped out to a 4-2 lead before Corey Sevacko hit a 3-pointer to give the Golden Eagles the lead. The shot put the senior guard over the 1,000-point mark.
“Back when I was playing, 1,000 points was unheard of,” Keystone Oaks Gene Mercuri said. “(Sevacko) is a (heck) of a player that can score so many ways.”
The Keystone Oaks lead didn't last long as Dom Castello hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Colts up, 10-5. The junior guard connected on two more shots from beyond the arch to put Chartiers Valley up, 31-16, after the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Keystone Oaks switched its defense into a 1-3-1 formation. The change in its defensive scheme allowed the Golden Eagles to make a run and cut the score to 34-28.
“We gave them fits in the second quarter when we went to the 1-3-1,” Mercuri said. “They seemed to not like that and got gun shy.”
Chartiers Valley was able to rebound from the rough patch to head into halftime up, 52-44. The Colts put the game out of reach in the opening minutes of the third quarter as they went on a 17-4 run.
“We started executing and getting into the gaps,” McConnell said. “We did a better job of penetrating, we rebounded better and ran the floor a little better than they did.”
While 82 points was the most given up by Chartiers Valley this season — and nearly 30 more than its average of 53.9 — McConnell said he expected a high-scoring game heading in. He felt it was a good rebound after the first loss of the season — 59-55 to Beaver — the night before.
“We didn't defend as well as I wanted, but I knew it was going to be a track meet,” McConnell said. “I didn't mind trying to outscore them.”
Matty McConnell scored 22 for the Colts. Castello and Boulos each finished with 17. Herzer added 14.
Skolnicki led Keystone Oaks with 22 points. Lehman added 18, and Sevacko finished with 18. Phillippi added 14, and Griffiths had 10.
The Colts had a pair of games this past weekend defeating South Park, 60-45, in a Section 5-AAA contest and Class AAAA's Mt. Lebanon, 60-56, in nonsection action.
With the four games last week and the Colts hosting South Fayette on Tuesday earlier this week, that will give Chartiers Valley five games in seven days.
“I hope we can survive,” McConnell said. “It is a tough week for us. We (got) Sunday off, but it is still a tough week with five games.”
Keystone Oaks recorded a 75-58 win over McGuffey on Friday night in Section 5-AAA action. The win gave the Golden Eagles a 3-2 section mark. With Chartiers Valley and South Fayette leading the section at 5-0, Montour and Keystone Oaks are sitting in the final two playoff spots and South Park trails them with a 2-4 record.
“Every section game is going to be big,” Mercuri said. “We need to beat McGuffey, we need to beat South Park and we need to beat Waynesburg. If we want to get into the playoffs, that's what we need to do. It will be a run of section games for us now, and we need to fight our butts off.”
The Colts will host Keystone Oaks tomorrow, Friday, in the second game of the teams' series. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.