Led by star guard Jayden Davis, Chartiers Valley boys look to finish stronger

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Saturday, November 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Last season, the Chartiers Valley boys basketball team won its first 12 games and was ranked No. 1 in Class 5A at one point. However, the Colts sputtered once they reached section play and missed out on the playoffs by one game.

With eight players returning from last year’s team who played varsity minutes, the Colts are looking to improve on a 15-7 overall record and 4-6 record in Section 4-5A play from a year ago.

Chartiers Valley will be led by talented junior guard Jayden Davis, who averaged 25 points per game last season. Davis reached the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore in a 79-65 loss to Lincoln Park in the PBC Hall of Fame Classic game in late January.

“He’s super talented and athletic,” coach Brandon Sensor said. “Everybody knows what kind of player he is. He’s starting to grow. Our goal for him this year is to start to grow as a point guard with commanding the court and being an extension of me as a coach on the court. It should be another big year from him, and he’s going to make the guys around him better as well.”

Senior guards Gionni Jones, Jaxon Specht and TJ Kubiscek will look to get starting minutes for the Colts this season.

The trio hopes to make up for the loss of guards Drew Sleva and Brendan Cruz, who graduated.

“They have the veteran experience and being seniors, they know how intense 5A basketball in those big games in section are,” Sensor said. “We have a really good sophomore class filled with really good athletes, with good athleticism and good basketball IQ.”

Sophomore guards Julian Semplice, Danny Slizick and Julius Best as well as sophomore center/forward Jake Lewis should earn more varsity minutes this season.

“Moving forward, you always learn from everything,” Sensor said. “The guys got experience through that season. They got to see how it’s a long season and every little detail matters. Whether we are winning or losing, we can’t get too high or too low. We got to get better each and every day.”

Last year, the Colts almost doubled the eight wins they had in the previous season. Chartiers Valley’s first loss last season came after a 54-46 setback to Moon on Jan. 10, which started a three-game skid. The third loss was another close loss to North Hills, 78-74.

The Colts finished the season 3-4, with section losses to South Fayette, Mars and North Hills. Mars and North Hills were both losses of less than six points. South Fayette grabbed the final playoff spot in front of Chartiers Valley by one game.

“Last year, we did get off to a hot start. We were playing pretty good basketball. It’s a long season. We had the toughest section there was in the WPIAL,” Sensor said. “Hats off to the teams in our section. They made us play hard and compete. We were able to get a few of them but not enough. I wouldn’t say it was an unsuccessful year because we didn’t make it to the playoffs.”

The Colts will participate in the Erie McDowell Tournament on Dec. 8-9.

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