Monday, January 20, 2014

Tueday's game to watch: Wash High versus Chartiers-Houston

Wash High travels to Chartiers-Houston on Tuesday night in a pivotal matchup for both teams in Section 4-AA.

This is the second meeting between the two teams after the Prexies defeated the Buccaneers, 75-58, on Dec.17, but Chartiers-Houston is much improved from the start of the season. The Bucs have won six of their last seven games and had won six straight before running into the top team in Class AA, Seton-La Salle.

Wash High (6-1, 12-4) has a firm grip of second place in the section with four double-digit scorers leading the Prexies – DeQuay Isbell (14.2 ppg), Nate Swart (13.7), Dupree Jenkins (11.6) and Quorteze Levy (10.1). Wash High had a strong start to the season, but the Prexies have slipped up since back-to-back games against Quaker Valley and Seton-La Salle.

The Prexies were defeated by Perry Traditional Academy, a city league team, on Sunday at California University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament.  Despite a nice cushion separating Wash High and Chartiers-Houston in the standings, the third-place Bucs are on a roll as of late.

Chartiers-Houston (4-3, 10-4) is led in scoring by sophomore Kodie Hanley, junior Alec Ferrari and freshman A.J. Myers. The x-factor for the Bucs could be senior Miles Williamson. Williamson, a star wide receiver on Chartiers-Houston’s football team, is picking up the pace on the hardwood and poses match-up problems for opposing teams.

“He is now hitting stride and is making that transformation from football to basketball,” Chartiers-Houston head coach Eugene Briggs said. “He is looking like a quality basketball player. His passing and shooting is greatly improved from last year. He’s a great all-around player.”

According to Briggs, the key to stopping Wash High has not changed.  The Bucs must prevent the Prexies from creating points in transition and he plans to use an extremely athletic seven-man rotation to defend Wash High’s strong lineup.

“The recipe to beat Wash High typically doesn’t change,” Briggs said. “You have to stop them in transition and keep it as a half-court game. If you do that, you have a chance win. If you don’t, it’s going to be at their advantage. It will definitely be a physical game and they have some size on them. We have to control the tempo.”

Wash High will have to find a way to stop Williamson, who stands at 6-4, and fellow senior Ben Shade, a 6-6 force in the post. Briggs can line the two players up at different positions on the court, which creates mismatches for smaller teams. They play a physical brand of basketball that mixes well with the Bucs’ youthful backcourt. Briggs said the unsung hero of the group is Ferrari, who runs the point for Chartiers-Houston, is averaging 13 points per game.

“The guy that doesn’t always gets noticed is Alec Ferrari,” Briggs said. “He’s had a great season so far. He is really doing a good job running the show for us. All seven of them have done a good job. It’s hard to get away with just having seven guys.”

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