Chartiers Valley’s state-record winning streak snapped at 64 games

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Saturday, January 23, 2021 | 1:54 PM


The streak is over.

Chartiers Valley’s girls basketball team lost for the first time in three seasons Saturday afternoon, snapping their state-record winning streak at 64 games with a 49-42 loss at Trinity.

This was a nonsection matchup between the top teams in WPIAL Class 5A, and second-ranked Trinity became the first to defeat the No. 1 Colts since March 10, 2018. Trinity is coached by Kathy McConnell-Miller, the sister of Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell.

The teams also met in last season’s WPIAL championship, won by Chartiers Valley, 58-40. The teams were one win away from a rematch in the state semifinals when the PIAA tournament was shut down last March.

This time, Trinity senior Courtney Dahlquist scored a game-high 19 points and the Hillers (6-1) led throughout.

“I have nothing but respect for him and his players and just how really, really good they are, how talented of a team they are,” McConnell-Miller told HSSN radio affiliate WJPA. “What they’ve done is nothing short of exceptional. That’s a lot of pressure playing night in and night out, on the road, and you’re getting everybody’s best game.

“I love my brother. I’m not the one who wanted to break that streak. I wish it would have gone on to 150 because he puts in so much time with his players and he develops players. Hopefully, he’ll still love me too.”

The loss comes five days after Chartiers Valley (7-1) broke the state record for longest streak by a girls basketball team. The previous record was 62 wins by Lancaster Catholic. The Colts set the record Monday against Gateway and extended their streak to 64 on Wednesday at Penn Hills.

It was an accomplishment three years in the making.

The Colts finished 30-0 in 2018-19, winning WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A titles in Tim McConnell’s first year as coach. They went 27-0 last winter and repeated as WPIAL champions, but their PIAA hopes were dashed when covid-19 concerns halted the state playoffs.

This season started with seven more wins, but McConnell maintained throughout that the streak wasn’t important. After Monday’s record-setting win, McConnell said: “It’s going to happen. We’re going to lose sometime. When it happens, it happens.”

Chartiers Valley trailed 11-7 after one, 27-21 at half and 36-28 after three. With a late double-digit lead, Trinity slowed down and held the ball for long possessions.

“Guess who I learned that from,” said McConnell-Miller, in her second season at Trinity after coaching in college. “Truth be told, I’ve never played without a shot clock, so when I would come back I would watch Tim in high school. … To have the ball up double-digits with three or four minutes on the clock and give it back to them makes absolutely no sense.

“I’ve watched him do it for years.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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