Hig School Basketball: Colts, Casson get in Montour's way

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Montour had plans of going to Chartiers Valley Friday night and knocking off the top-ranked team in Class AAA.

Spencer Casson swatted those hopes away.

Casson, a 6-foot-6 senior center, had a triple-double that included 13 blocked shots, helping Chartiers Valley remain undefeated after a 75-62 win against fourth-ranked Montour.

Bethel Park 60, Mt. Lebanon 54

Bethel Park takes on Mt. Lebanon during Thursday girls basketball action. (Video by Peter Diana; 1/3/2013)

Mars 65, Kittanning 45

Mars takes on Kittanning in Friday night high school basketball action. (Video by Lucas Good; 1/4/2013)

Chartiers Valley 75, Montour 62

Montour takes on Chartiers Valley during Friday night basketball action. (Video by Andrew Rush; 1/4/2013)

Jeannette 77, Serra Catholic 62

Serra Catholic visitis Jeannette in Friday night action. (Video by Matt Freed; 01/04/2013).

With the win, Chartiers Valley (8-0, 3-0) skipped over Montour (7-2, 2-1) into a first-place tie with South Fayette (7-2, 3-0) in Section 5.

Casson was a big reason why. He added 10 points and 17 rebounds to go along with his block total. Casson is still raw offensively, but his ability to rebound and be a huge interior presence defensively took center stage against a Montour team that didn't have a starter taller than 6-3.

"He's always been a monster defensively," said Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell. "He had 13 blocks, and I saw about five or six other shots he altered. It forced them to stop coming inside. That was the difference."

Montour tried to drive the ball inside a lot early, but the frequency dropped rapidly when Casson blocked four shots in the first quarter. Montour made seven 3-pointers, but the Spartans' accuracy was far from pinpoint when it came to shooting from the perimeter, particularly in the first half when Chartiers Valley held them to 22 points.

"I came in trying to force them to take bad shots," Casson said.

"I felt pretty good out there and thought I was timing my jumps well."

Chartiers Valley's other four starters also scored in double figures: Matty McConnell had 21, Mike Boulos 19, Haedyn Herzer 14 and Dom Castello 10.

The Colts have scored at least 75 points in all but one game and own the highest-scoring offense in Class AAA.

Montour's star point guard, Devin Wilson, finished with 15 points, including 12 in the second half. Wilson, considered by some to be the best player in the WPIAL, didn't make as big of an impact as he typically does, and some of the credit for that went to Chartiers Valley's defensive effort.

"He's a great player and he's going to be a great college player," said Tim McConnell.

"I was pleased with how we did against him. Devin is going to get his points, but we knew as long as he didn't score like 35 it would be OK."

Teammate Lamontae Harrison, a transfer from Sto-Rox, led Montour with 18 points.

Chartiers Valley led, 28-22, at halftime, and began to break the game open in the third quarter with a 13-3 run capped by Herzer's 3-pointer that put the Colts ahead, 41-25.

Wilson scored six points in a row to cut Montour's deficit to 10, but the Colts scored the next seven to build a 48-31 lead.

The Colts led by 15 points after three quarters and stretched that advantage to as much as 19 early in the fourth quarter.

With Casson patrolling the lane defensively, Boulos and Matty McConnell did an excellent job on the offensive end by scoring regularly on drives. Boulos shouldered the load in the first half with 11 points; McConnell kept things going in the second with 14.

Chartiers Valley led, 11-6, after the first quarter, and that advantage grew to nine points, 24-15, when Matty McConnell scored with 3:30 left before halftime. Montour used a 7-0 run in less than a minute to pull within 24-22. The Colts, though, scored the next four points to take a six-point halftime lead.

The win was Chartiers Valley's seventh in a row against Montour. Chartiers Valley competed in Class AAAA each of the past two seasons, when the teams met in non-section play.

Montour's only other loss this season was to No. 2 Mars, 71-68.

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First Published January 5, 2013 5:00 AM


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