Chartiers Valley’s ‘well-oiled machine’ crushes Moon in Class 5A semifinals

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | 10:17 PM

It’s back to the “Pete” and the WPIAL championship game for the Chartiers Valley girls basketball team.

The Petersen Events Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus is becoming a second home for the Colts.

Chartiers Valley punched its ticket to the WPIAL finals for the fifth time in six seasons and will be looking for its fourth consecutive title after routing Section 5-5A rival Moon, 57-35, Tuesday at Peters Township.

The victory puts the Colts in the finals at 5 p.m. Saturday against South Fayette, which defeated McKeesport, 51-48. It was the third time the Colts defeated the Tigers this season. Chartiers Valley won 49-45 on Jan. 13 and 59-45 on Feb. 7.

Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his team in the first half. It took apart the Tigers with good defense and hot shooting.

“I would say this has been the best we’ve played a couple years, maybe since Megan (McConnell) was a senior (in 2020),” McConnell said. “That was a well-oiled machine.

“It was a great team effort. If you would have told me in would be a mercy rule at halftime, I would have bet you my house.”

The Colts raced out to a 7-0 lead and poured it on from there.

Hallie Cowan scored eight points and Perri Page had six in the opening quarter as the Colts opened up a 17-5 advantage.

Cowan’s twin sister, Helene, got hot in the second quarter. She chipped in with eight points, Aislin Malcolm seven and Page six more as the Colts stretched their lead to 44-14 at halftime.

The 30-point lead at halftime invoked the mercy rule for the entire second half.

“The intensity, the defense and the rebounding, I couldn’t have asked for a better first half,” McConnell said. “Different players stepping up has been our team all season. The Cowan twins stepped up and Marian (Turnbull) played her best game ever at Chartiers Valley and she was sick as a dog.

“We weren’t sure she would be able to play. I give her a lot of credit for playing the way she did.”

Page led the way with 16 points, Helene Cowan added 12, Hallie Cowan 11, and Malcolm finished with 10 points. The Cowan twins are bound for Seton Hill in the fall.

And as well as Chartiers Valley played, Moon was off the entire night.

Reilly Sunday led the Tigers with 12 points and Emma Theodorsson 11.

“They were ready to play,” Moon coach Megan Abbenante said. “They were 100 percent ready. We kind of let them take over. They forced us to do things like settle for outside shots. We needed to get the ball inside.”

But Abbenante told her team after the game there was still a lot to play for.

Moon and Chartiers Valley have both qualified for the PIAA tournament.

Chartiers Valley wouldn’t mind a return trip to Hershey. The Colts lost to Cardinal O’Hara in the finals in 2021.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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