COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — It had been 17 years since Chartier Valley and McKeesport met on the hardwood, and if history is any indication, it might be a while before the Tigers get another shot at the Colts.
No. 1 seed Chatiers Valley the first round of the 2021 WPIAL Class-5A boys basketball playoffs on Wednesday, beating McKeesport 74-56.
Entering as the No. 17 seed, McKeesport did not look like it. The Tigers came out flying, taking a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After scoring 78 points against Hampton in the preliminary round, they quickly showed how they can add points to the scoresheet.
But senior Brayden Reynolds was the answer the Colts needed to get things going.
Reynolds made a few steals, some key passes and put up two consecutive 3-pointers from well behind the arc to give his team the lead 29-26 in the second quarter.
By the half, Chartiers Valley went up 37-28, and Reynolds had 20 points.
In the third quarter, McKeesport made one last push.
Colts head coach Brandon Sensor decided to give Reynolds a breather in the middle of the period. The Tigers then took on a full court press and caused some turnovers.
Travarese Rowe dribbled through a pair of defenders and slammed in a dunk. The crowd of McKeesport supporters went wild. It almost felt like a home game for the Tigers.
Chartiers runs a 2-3 zone that helps block off the three-point shot. They held the Tigers to only 12 points off the three. But, with only two men down low it left room for bigger guys like Rowe and Brison Kisan to attack the hoop in the paint.
Only down by four (52-48) with eight minutes to go, the game was still in reach.
But yet again, Reynolds was there and his teammate Socrates Boulis.
Boulis added 10 points in the second half including nine off of three pointers. Reynolds added another 13 points and made some great defensive plays.
In the final minute, McKeesport subbed off their seniors. The fans applauded for their great careers and effort they put into the program. Reynolds specifically went over to show grace to senior, Brison Kisan.
Reynolds finished with 33 points and five helpers. Boulis produced 17 points.
In their last game, Kisan had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Rowe earned 14 points and seven rebounds.
Char Valley is now 20-3 and faces No. 8 Gateway in the quarterfinal. Gateway knocked off Albert Gallatin 62-59.
Chartiers Valley parents were able to buy tickets immediately after the game as the PA announcer told them to come down to center court. CV will face Gateway this Saturday, March 6 at noon back on their home court.
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