Brayden Reynolds, Chartiers Valley slam Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 24, 2020 | 10:58 PM

Brayden Reynolds had never dunked in a game before.

That changed, in a major way, on Friday night.

Reynolds threw down a pair of first-half dunks, part of a 25-point night for the Chartiers Valley junior, as the Colts grinded out a 60-49 win over Thomas Jefferson in WPIAL Section 2-5A.

With the win, Chartiers Valley (12-4, 9-1) took a full two-game lead in the section.

The Colts jumped out to a 12-2 lead, which culminated with Reynolds’ first dunk, a fast break jam that ignited the Colts’ bench.

“I think what got me going was definitely that first dunk,” he said. “First time ever in a game, and it got some adrenaline pumping for me. And the team found me for open shots. It just took off from there.”

So did Reynolds. Literally.

His second dunk of the first half came on an impressive putback off a missed shot. It helped the Colts take a 35-26 lead to the locker room.

“He must have been eating something right today,” Chartiers Valley coach Brandon Sensor said. “Everyone was amped for him. Everyone was pumped.”

“It was special for me, but I think the way they all reacted was better than the actual dunk,” Reynolds added. “That made me feel good about myself.”

Chartiers Valley’s defense took over after the break, holding Thomas Jefferson (11-6, 7-3) to just eight points in the third quarter.

Shane Stump scored 22 points to lead the Jaguars, but top scorers Noah Pierce and Isaac McNeil, who entered the game averaging a combined 29 points per game, only scored 16 total.

“Shane played really well, shot the ball well, was aggressive on the boards,” Jaguars coach Dom DeCicco said. “We needed McNeil and Pierce to play better, but they took them out of their game.”

“The whole game I thought we played pretty good defense,” Sensor said. “We let (Stump) beat us, but we took care of (Pierce and McNeil). I thought our defense was awesome. If we play ‘D’ like that, man, we’re going to be tough.”

Reynolds put the game away in the third quarter, building the Colts’ lead to 18 while racking up 11 points in the frame, including a trio of three-pointers.

“As the season has gone on, he’s been getting better and better, especially controlling the game,” Sensor said.

Thomas Jefferson’s 49 points were the fewest the team has scored since Dec. 9.

“We’re usually in the mid to upper 40s and we shot 30%,” DeCicco said. “You’re not going to beat any good team shooting 30%. And credit to them. Their defense caused a lot of that. But we missed a lot of open looks tonight.”

What appeared to be a runaway, happy-go-lucky night for the Colts came to a screeching halt early in the final quarter, when guard Jared Goldstrom left with what appeared to be a potentially serious leg injury. But, surprisingly, the 15-point-per-game scorer returned late.

“I thought it could’ve been something,” Sensor said. “You never know when a kid goes down with a knee or lower leg. I was worried, especially for him in his senior year. It seems like he’s going to be OK, just a little sore.”

Goldstrom scored 11 in the victory, helping the Colts — with only four section games remaining — take a stranglehold of the top spot in the section.

“We’ve been talking about that the last few games,” Sensor said. “We win this game and we’re in the driver’s seat. … We’ve still got a few more games to go. We have to finish our business, but we’re making progress.”

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