Transfers enrich Chartiers Valley team on the court
Chartiers Valley guard Jerrad Tuite used one word to describe the Colts' 74-56 win at Baldwin this season: bittersweet.
A member of the Fighting Highlanders' basketball team last season, the sophomore transferred to Chartiers Valley during the off-season.
"I still have a lot of friends out there (Baldwin High School)," Tuite said. "I still like the kids out there and hope they don't hold anything against me. It was tough. They wanted me to play for them this season, but other things happened."
Tuite was not the only addition to the Colts' roster during the off-season. Forward Deyshawn Martin transferred to Chartiers Valley from Langley.
"Having those two come in has made this team one of the deepest we have ever had," Chartiers Valley Coach Tim McConnell said. "Last year, we had times where we played six guys. Now, we have guys with experience -- and with those two coming in, we have been able to play nine or 10 guys."
Tuite had a strong start for the Colts, who entered the week 15-2 overall and 9-1 in Section 4-AAAA. He averaged 7.5 points and had a season-best 18 points against Montour last week. Despite finding success on the court, Tuite said he's still learning the system Chartiers Valley runs.
"It was difficult at first," Tuite said. "There is a lot of nonstop movement, and you have to learn to play under control and fast. I'm picking it up one step at a time."
Tuite's time at Baldwin helped his transition. As a freshman, he was a contributor off the bench and eventually started some games.
"He played in the section last year and knows what to expect," McConnell said. "His mentality is great. He isn't thinking like a sophomore. He is playing like an upperclassmen."
Tuite is being groomed to be the next Chartiers Valley point guard. Senior Dan Landy held the role this season.
McConnell said he likes the way Tuite handles the ball and gets around people. He thinks Tuite has a bright future.
"If he keeps working as hard as he has been and gets himself a better shot, when he is a senior, some colleges are going to be looking at him, saying, 'Come run our point for the next four years,' " McConnell said.
The other guy
Martin is a welcome addition to the Colts' roster, in part because of his size and athleticism. He is listed at 6-foot-4, but his jumping ability and long arms make him a towering presence on the court. He allowed Chartiers Valley to mix up the lineups with fellow big man Spencer Casson.
"There are times when we run two big guys; times we have (Casson) in and times we can put (Martin) in there," McConnell said. "We never lost anything switching those two. (Martin's) jumping ability makes him a presence. He has been great for us."
Martin said he picked up the Chartiers Valley system easily but is learning some of the offense. McConnell believes he'll become a tough player to stop.
"He needs to learn to score a little more consistently," McConnell said. "It is just learning to play in our system a little better. Once this year is over and he works on it during the off-season, we will see a better play next season."
Martin and Tuite could help Chartiers Valley return to winning. The Colts suffered their first two losses of the season last week: to Montour, 61-49, and Mt. Lebanon at home, 51-42.
"It was a wake-up call," Martin said. "We were slacking. It was like we got to the top and thought we would cruise from there. It has been a rocky road."