No. 5 Montour upsets top-ranked Chartiers Valley
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It's a somewhat unorthodox stat in basketball, but Montour coach Adam Kaufman encouraged his team to dominate time of possession.
“We don't want to play defense for 40 seconds and offense for five,” said Kaufman, whose Spartans used improved patience and more than a dozen offensive rebounds to earn Tuesday night's 51-40 victory over No. 1 Chartiers Valley.
No. 5 Montour had a 28-20 edge in rebounds, including 13 offensive. Justin Hill, Kevin Scuilli, Dustin Sleva and Robert Julian each had six rebounds.
The victory was the fifth consecutive for Montour (14-4, 7-2), including confidence-building nonsection wins over Thomas Jefferson and Shaler before this big one involving Section 5-AAA contenders.
“The last couple games, we came out and played the way we should have been playing all year,” said Montour's Devin Wilson, who had 11 points.
Hill and Scuilli each scored 13 points for Montour. Haedyn Herzer had 13 for Chartiers Valley.
It was the first section loss for Chartiers Valley (16-2, 9-1), which scored a season-low 40 points. Twice this month the Colts had reached 100, but Montour's patient strategy helped to keep the score low. But the intent wasn't to stall.
“By patient, I don't mean holding the ball,” Kaufman said. “We just want the shot we want with the guy we want shooting it. … I don't think an open shot is always a good shot.”
Their control-the-ball approach was clear during consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.
Leading 36-33 with 3:50 left, Montour missed four shots and rebounded them all. Eventually, Julian was fouled and made two free throws. On its next possession, Montour rebounded three more missed shots before Sileva was fouled and made another free throw.
“We missed a few shots and they very easily could have come down and cut into the lead,” Kaufman said.
Instead, those prolonged possessions sparked Montour. A layup and foul shot by Hill with 1:56 left stretched the lead to seven. A 3-pointer by Scuilli just 35 seconds later gave Montour a 45-35 lead. Scuilli and Wilson sealed the victory with six consecutive free throws in the final 32 seconds.
Chartiers Valley's largest lead was six points in the opening minutes, but Montour held a 15-14 lead after the first quarter and never trailed again. The Spartans had a 26-22 lead at halftime and led 34-29 after three.
When these teams met Jan. 4, Chartiers Valley won, 75-62. The Colts' Spencer Casson had 10 points, 17 rebounds and 13 blocks that night, forcing the Spartans to shoot from the perimeter. This time the 6-foot-6 senior had eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks but wasn't nearly as influential. In part, because the Spartans tried to not give him shots to block.
“There were a few times we dribbled to the hoop, he's standing there, so we threw it back out,” Kaufman said. “Last time, after they got their shots blocked a few times, our guys got very impatient.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
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