Whether in his first season as head coach at Chartiers Valley last season or during his playing days at East Allegheny, Brandon Sensor knows one thing. Defense is critical to any basketball team’s success.
Sensor, who led Cape Coral, Fla., to a regional championship and a state semifinal appearance in his first head coaching job, is in his second season at the helm at CV. Last year, his Colts finished runner-up in a section that produced the state champion. In fact, Sensor was the only division coach to beat Moon on its own court. The Colts finished 18-7 falling in the WPIAL semifinals to Mars, which eventually won the District 7 title. CV’s season ended with a loss in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.
Sensor said the one thing he learned in his first season at CV is he has always incorporated into his approach to coaching and getting the results he wants is to have a “strong focus” on defense.
“Defense will keep you in games when your shots aren’t falling,” he said.
During workouts leading up to the 2019-20 tip-off Dec. 13 at home against Trinity, the Colts are “working hard” to make defense a strength, Sensor said.
Sensor said that intellect and accuracy are the Colts’ forte.
“We are a smart team that can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” he said.
Though the Colts lost leading scorer from a year ago, Joe Pipilo (17 points per game) to LaRoche College as well as Tyler Shaw (5 points per game) and Mike Behanna to graduation, they return two sure shooters to their starting line-up. Brayden Reynolds averaged 12 points and five assists a game while Jared Goldstrom managed 15 points. Sean Banas and Marcello Legister each have experience as starters for the better half of a season.
Sensor is keen on Louie Kearney. He expects the senior “to do a good job” for the Colts. “He’s a good defensive player who brings energy to the team,” Sensor said.
Socrates Boulis, who can knock down the 3 and saw plenty of action last season, will also have an impact on the Colts’ success. He is a junior along with Garrett Alauzen. Senior Griffin Beattie and sophomore Anthony Mackey should also be key contributors.
“All five of those players had varsity minutes last year and should help a lot this year,” Sensor said.
The Colts will also rely upon Carter Mastovich and Dylan Marian. While Marian is a ninth grader, Mastovich enrolled at CV this fall and is a sophomore.
Because they are “not an overly tall team,” the Colts are zeroing on defense, Sensor said.
“We will have to rely on fundamentals and heart to help us rebounding,” he said.
Though the season is in its early stages, the Colts have ambitious goals. To reach their objectives, which includes battling Montour, among others, for the section crown, they are taking it step by step.
“Our goal is to play good, team basketball and improve every practice and every game,” Sensor said. “We hope to win our section and WPIAL but are just focused on the process and getting better.”