Trib HSSN boys basketball team of the week — Week ending Jan. 25, 2020

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Monday, January 27, 2020 | 5:27 PM


There are various ways and reasons teams are successful in WPIAL basketball.

Combine some of them, and you get a team that’s on a serious roll that has now taken control of its section.

Chartiers Valley beat the two teams in closest pursuit in the Section 2-5A standings last week and added a nonsection win Saturday to extend its winning streak to seven straight and 11 in a row against WPIAL competition.

“I think a few things have been key for us,” Chartiers Valley coach Brandon Sensor said. “No. 1 is our defense. I think we’ve given up about 46 points a game in the last seven games. Second, our offense has been more patient and we’re taking good shots, which leads to a higher shooting percentage and helps out our defense.

“Finally, guys have come to practice every day ready to work and get better as individuals and as a team.”

The first-place Colts began their busy week with an 11-point home victory over third-place South Fayette.

“We were able to control the tempo of the game and be patient on offense,” Sensor said. “On defense, we made them earn it. We gave up 11, seven, and nine in the first three quarters. Also on offense, we took great shots in the first half. We were 6 of 8 in first quarter and 12 of 21 overall for the half.”

Then on Friday, it was a battle for first place with a home game Thomas Jefferson. The Colts picked up their second win over the Jaguars this season with a 60-49 triumph.

“We again played solid defense and shot the ball very well,” Sensor said of his team’s 10 of 19 shooting from behind the 3-point line. “TJ is a very good team. I’m proud of how we performed. This was a big win because it keeps us in the driver’s seat in our section.”

Less than 24 hours after the win over TJ, Chartiers Valley was back on the court as part of the PBC Classic at Montour against Aliquippa. The game was tight, but the Colts prevailed over one of the top teams in Class 3A, 50-44.

“It’s always tough to play at noon after a tough section matchup the night before,” Sensor said. “Not to mention we had a couple guys banged up. Facing that athleticism and intensity helps prepare you for playoffs. Good we were able to get the win and get better.”

Now in his second year as Chartiers Valley coach, Sensor talked about some of the key players from this past week who have played a big part in the team’s 13-4 overall record.

“(Junior Brayden) Reynolds has had a very good year for us,” he said. “What I love about him is he is improving and coachable. He also has done a great job of playing team ball. (Senior Jared) Goldstrom has turned into an all-around player this year. Not just a shooter. (Senior Sean) Banas has been playing great ball all year, starting with defense. He’s tough as nails on defense and does a good job boxing out.

“(Senior Marcello) Legister has played absolutely great lately. We hope he can keep this level of play. (Senior Griffin) Beattie and (senior Louie) Kearney both give us a ton of energy in the game. They’re all heart and tough as nails.”

The common denominator in the Colts’ success this year seems to point back to defense. Chartiers Valley has allowed 53.8 points per game, the second-best mark in the section behind Moon.

“This season, we laid out our vision for our defense, and we work on it daily, starting with becoming better individual defenders, then better team defenders,” Sensor said. “The guys know that great offensive teams can win games, but you have to be able to defend to win consistently and to win championships. We still have to get better.”

Sensor said he feels his team still has a lot to work on these next two week before embarking on what he hopes is a golden postseason run.

“We want to keep improving,” he said.”We’re still striving to play great basketball for a full 32 minutes. I love this team. They get it. They know what it takes and they know they have to keep working for it.

“I’m excited for our next practice and our game Tuesday night.”

Previous Trib HSSN teams of the week

Week 5 – Central Catholic Vikings

Week 4 – Blackhawk Cougars

Week 3 – Brentwood Spartans

Week 2 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders

Week 1 – South Allegheny Gladiators

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