The Chartiers Valley boys basketball team is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA of the WPIAL, but the Colts will be without their starting point guard the rest of the season.
Jerrad Tuite sustained a knee injury in one of the team's games earlier this month at the KSA Classic in Orlando. Tuite's kneecap was fractured and he had season-ending surgery Dec. 19.
Tuite (5 feet 9) was one of the top junior point guards in the WPIAL. He was averaging 11 points a game and led the team in assists.
Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell said a few different players will handle the point guard duties in Tuite's absence.
"It's a shame because Jerrad had been playing really well," said McConnell. "He does a really good job of just handling the ball and getting it into the right people's hands at the right times, and just being a quarterback out there.
"We talked to our players that now everyone has to step up and just give us a little more."
McConnell said he had never seen a knee injury as serious as Tuite's.
"The main thing is I'm just worried about his health," McConnell said. "I hope he can recover from this and come back his senior year and be able to play again. The only consolation is that he's only a junior."
Chartiers Valley played one game without Tuite and beat McGuffey, 75-44. The Colts are 7-0 and don't play again until a showdown against Montour a week from today.
North Allegheny junior guard Joe Mancini had a memorable night last Saturday when he made 10 3-pointers and finished with 32 points in an 85-63 victory against Wheeling Park, W.Va. It is believed to be the most 3-pointers in a WPIAL game this season.
The WPIAL record for 3-pointers in a game is believed to be 13 by two different players. Fort Cherry's Dan Davis had 13 3-pointers in a 2004 game against South Fayette and Ford City's Christopher Zilla had 13 in a game against Wilkinsburg in 1995.
The New Castle boys, ranked No. 1 in WPIAL Class AAAA, have been destroying teams, winning by an average of 24.3 points per game.
Here is one coach's take on New Castle: "Their pressure on defense creates their offense and they get their hands on so many balls defensively, it's unbelievable. They're so athletic, too. For someone to beat them, it's going to take a night when they're in foul trouble and shooting it really bad. You're going to have to have some guards who are strong enough to be able to handle their pressure. They don't have a real big guy, but I don't think they need one. I think they really have it all."
Strength in Section 3
Class AAAA Section 3 has the reputation as the strongest section in the WPIAL, from top to bottom. It's hard to argue the notion so far, as three Section 3 teams headed into the holiday break with perfect records. Hampton, New Castle and North Allegheny were all 7-0. Also, the top two scoring teams in Class AAAA were New Castle (78.9 points) and North Allegheny (72.0).
The only other section with three undefeated teams was Class AA Section 3, where Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette and Serra Catholic were all 7-0.
Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org