Char Valley uses 17-point run to knock off Knoch
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Knoch was coming back midway through the third quarter Tuesday night, cutting a 20-point lead to eight and forcing mighty Chartiers Valley to call a timeout to regroup.
Then, Knoch made a big mistake. It blinked.
In a whirlwind stretch, the top-seeded Colts scored 17 straight points, threw Knoch's momentum away like old athletic tape and cruised to a 77-43 victory in a WPIAL Class AAA first-round playoff game at North Allegheny.
“Just like that; that's what they are known for,” said Knoch senior forward Dakota Bruggeman, who scored a team-high 12 points. “They have that ability to hit the next gear.”
Chartiers Valley (20-3), in the playoffs for the 20th straight season, advanced to the quarterfinals, while Knoch ends a satisfying season at 12-12.
The Colts ended the third on a 20-2 spurt.
“The wheels fell off for us,” Knoch first-year coach Ron McNabb said. “I thought we came out and guarded them better in the second half, but they're a hard team to match up with. They can score so quickly.”
Knoch played well with the Colts earlier in the season, trailing by just three heading to the fourth quarter of a nonsection game that it lost, 65-51. This time, Chartiers Valley led, 60-34, with one period left.
The Class AAA favorite flexed its muscles.
Senior guard Mike Boulos and sophomore guard Matty McConnell combined to score as many points as Knoch. Boulos poured in 23 points, and McConnell had 20, including four 3-pointers. Boulos tallied 13 after halftime.
For as up-and-down and frantic as the Colts play, they took extra care of the basketball in their playoff opener. They surrendered just four turnovers.
“They can do it all,” McNabb said. “They're strong and quick. And I thought (6-foot-7 Spencer) Casson really asserted himself tonight.”
Casson added 13 points, including a dunk with three minutes to play.
McNabb already is eager to get ready for next season. Although he'll lose some key seniors, he can build on Knoch's preliminary-round win over Mt. Pleasant, the program's first postseason victory since 2006.
“I got this job a little late, in July, but our kids bought into the program from the start and never wavered,” McNabb said. “I like the way our kids battled all season.”
The teams combined for 12 3-pointers.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com .
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.