Wednesday marks the end of the coldest temperatures Pittsburgh has seen in 20 years and the return of high school basketball after a brief hiatus.
There are 41 WPIAL boys’ basketball games on the schedule for Wednesday night. The most intriguing game in Washington or Greene County is between two Section 5-AA opponents. Charleroi (3-0, 5-3) will travel to Brownsville to take on the Falcons (3-0, 4-4) to claim the top spot in Section 5-AA at 7:30 p.m.
After starting the season with back-to-back home losses, Charleroi has won five of their last six games behind a balanced scoring effort. Ryan Konek leads the Cougars with 16.3 points per game, while three other players are averaging double figures – John Arnold (16 ppg), Matt Indorante (15.4 ppg) and Evan Anderson (13.7). The most intriguing player in Washington County is Arnold, a 6-7 forward for the Cougars. Coaches have called him an x-factor for Charleroi with the insurmountable size advantage he has against competition.
During the successful road to begin the season, Charleroi is averaging a section-high 61.6 points per game, while allowing 53.4 per game on the defensive end. Tuesday night’s section bout against Frazier was postponed for Charleroi, so the Cougars will face an athletic Brownsville team Wednesday and a Jefferson Morgan team on Friday that has struggled to start the season.
What Brownsville has lacked defensively, they have made up for offensively and more. The Novotney Brothers - Cole and Ryan - have paced the Falcons on offense. Cole is averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game and Ryan has contributed 16.8 per game for Brownsville, which is coming off back-to-back losses against South Park and Monessen. The remainder of Brownsvilles’s starting five, who are also all seniors, are averaging double figures. Nick Despot is putting up 15 points per game, Deshawtae Bell 11.8 and Daquan Woods 11.5
While the Falcons scored 77 points in their last game played, due to postponements, they have not played a game since Dec. 23.