With the WPIAL basketball regular season winding down, any coach will tell you that every section game is important. The difference between finishing second in your section and finishing in third is critical for seeding in the WPIAL playoffs.
Chartiers-Houston (6-3, 12-4) took a step in the right direction on Wednesday night when the Bucs defeated Wash High, 63-59. The victory gives Chartiers-Houston a season split between the Prexies and with Seton-La Salle having a stronghold on first place, the game was important for the Buccaneers and head coach Eugene Briggs.
Chartiers-Houston could not overcome a slow start in the two teams’ last meeting on Dec. 17, which ended with the Bucs losing, 75-58. This time around, Chartiers-Houston’s 28-point first quarter and perfect free throw shooting down the stretch sank Wash High. The win puts the Bucs just one game behind the Prexies (7-2, 13-5) in the standings and are gaining momentum at the perfect time.
On Wednesday night, the Bucs had three double-digit scorers: Alec Ferrari (12 points and six assists), Kodie Hanley (17 points and 15 rebounds) and AJ Myers (12 points). Wash High, led by Nate Swart’s 18 points, drew within 10 points at the end of the third quarter, but Char-Houston went 7-for-9 from the free throw line in the final eight minutes to seal the win.
Chartiers-Houston is in perfect position to make a run at second place. The Bucs’ next two games are non-section matchups against Avonworth and Carrick. They have just three games remaining in Section 4-AA play: Brentwood (Feb. 4), Bishop Canevin (Feb. 5) and Fort Cherry (Feb.7). In contrast, the Prexies must face first place Seton-La Salle at home Friday night before finishing the season against South Fayette (Feb. 5) and Burgettstown (Feb. 7).
The win may seem like a small step at the tail end of the marathon that is the WPIAL basketball season, but Chartiers-Houston now controls their destiny. After missing the playoffs last season, the Bucs are in position to grab better seeding when playoff pairings are announced on Feb. 11.