Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Riding Red-Hot Trio Boulos, Casson, Mcconnell Spearhead Char Valley

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Riding Red-Hot Trio Boulos, Casson, Mcconnell Spearhead Char Valley

Article excerpt

As Chartiers Valley makes its annual trip deep into the postseason, a trio of players have been spending a lot of time behind the wheel.

Michael Boulos, Spencer Casson and Matty McConnell are the driving force for a Chartiers Valley team that finished as the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up and advanced to the PIAA playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years.

The Colts (24-4) routed District 6 champion Johnstown, 65-38, Tuesday. They advance to take on Archbishop Carroll of Radnor in Friday's quarterfinals.

Boulos (18 points per game), McConnell (16) and Casson (11) have combined to score 63 percent of Chartiers Valley's points and have also helped the Colts in several other key areas.

Casson is perhaps the biggest story. He has been huge, both literally and figuratively. Casson, a 6-foot-6 senior center, has provided the Colts with something coach Tim McConnell hasn't had too often over the years -- an excellent post presence to complement a backcourt that is annually one of the most potent in the WPIAL.

Casson averages close to a triple-double per game. In addition to his point total, Casson chips in 11.3 rebounds and 7.6 blocked shots a game. He's shot 61 percent from the field and 66 percent from the free-throw line. One-third of his rebounds have come on the offensive glass.

Swatting away shots on the defensive end has never been a problem for Casson, but it's been his increased offensive production that has play a critical role in Chartiers Valley's success.

"Last year, defensively, he blocked a lot of shots, but this year he's taken the bull by the horns and is really helping our offense," said coach McConnell, who cited confidence as being one of the main reasons for the improvement.

Two of Casson's best games were against Montour (10 points, 17 rebounds, 13 blocked shots) on Feb. 4 and against Keystone Oaks (22 points, 17 rebounds, 12 blocks) five days later. Casson has 204 blocks on the season and has had at least 10 blocks seven times. …

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