Perri Page beats buzzer as Chartiers Valley fends off Thomas Jefferson upset bid

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 10:41 PM

Every possession was bound to matter when Thomas Jefferson and Chartiers Valley met Thursday night.

TJ head coach Lisa Fairman and Char Valley coach Tim McConnell were both aware of that.

It came down to the final seconds of a Section 1-5A showdown, and the Colts found a way to make more of their possessions count, capturing a 42-41 victory over the Jaguars to extend their winning streak to 47 games.

The heroics of Char Valley sophomore Perri Page made the difference, as she scored on a layup at the buzzer to give the Colts (17-0, 10-0) their closest win of the season.

While the last-minute bucket was Page’s first of the second half, she finished with a team-high 13 points in her first game back after missing the previous four due to a sprained ankle.

“She hasn’t played in a couple of weeks and her conditioning is definitely not there yet, but we definitely need her. She’s a game changer for us,” McConnell said of Page, who didn’t play in the last meeting between the two teams when CV topped TJ, 42-34, on Jan. 11.

“Once she gets her legs under her, she’s going to be even better than she was tonight.”

With TJ (11-6, 6-4) leading by one after a late bucket by Maddy Trainer, McConnell was confident his team could go down the court in the 4.4 seconds that were on the clock and get a shot off.

“We do a drill in practice that we call the nine-second drill where you have to go up and down the floor in nine seconds,” McConnell explained. “I told the girls if we could get up and down the court in nine seconds, why can’t we do it in four and a half seconds? We knew we could get down there and get off a layup or a shot, depending on what they gave us.

“It worked out in our favor.”

Fairman said she was under the impression that 3.1 seconds should have been on the clock after McConnell called a timeout following Trainer’s go-ahead bucket.

Instead, 1.3 seconds were added and Fairman wasn’t informed why.

“At no point did anybody even come over to tell me that they changed the time on the clock,” Fairman said. “Tenths of seconds make a big difference. If they were going to change it, I believe I should have been told, but what are you going to do?

“Quite honestly, it’s just disappointing that it came down to that at the very end of time.”

While the Colts used a 10-0 third-quarter run to break open the game the last time the two teams met, this matchup didn’t include any runs to provide separation for either team.

A four-point lead was the biggest advantage of the game for either team.

Behind seven points from Page, Char Valley held a 13-11 edge after one quarter.

In the second, the Colts held on to a two-point advantage before 3-pointers from Alyssa DeAngelo and Lydia Zoglmann gave TJ a 23-19 lead with 2:16 left in the half.

DeAngelo paced the Jaguars with 12 points, while Zoglmann hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points.

Chartiers Valley responded with a corner trey from Hailie Cowan before TJ’s lead went to three on a layup by Lydia Shaw.

Helene Cowan hit 1 of 2 shots from the free throw line to make it a 25-23 deficit for CV at halftime.

“I thought we played poorly in the first half and I told the girls the only good thing about it was that we were only down two,” McConnell said. “We can play way better, but I give Thomas Jefferson credit. They came ready to play. It’s been a rivalry for the last few years and they wanted to beat us bad, so they played hard. I’m just happy we came away with a win.”

Neither team could gain that needed separation in the third quarter as the Colts narrowly outscored the Jaguars, 10-5, to take a 33-30 lead into the fourth.

Aislin Malcolm scored eight of her 10 points in the frame, while Zoglmann had all five of TJ’s points.

The teams continued to trade blows in the fourth, but it was TJ that trimmed its deficit to two midway through the quarter after a bucket by Dalaney Ranallo made it 38-36.

After a pair of free throws from Megan McConnell, who was limited to eight points, a blocking foul along with a technical on CV allowed TJ to shoot four free throws.

Graci Fairman went 2 for 2 from the line and DeAngelo hit 1 of 2, cutting CV’s lead to 40-39.

Both teams were held scoreless in the next 1:52 before the Trainer bucket that gave the Jaguars the late advantage.

“My girls gave absolutely everything they had,” Fairman said. “I believe that we hustled and we outworked them. We really wanted it.

“My heart breaks for them and it’s very unfortunate, but they have nothing to hang their heads about. I told them in the locker room, if they play like this, we’re going to have gold medals around our neck.”

Thomas Jefferson hosts Lincoln Park on Monday, while Chartiers Valley plays at home against Trinity.

Check out an archived video stream broadcast of this game on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

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