Top 19 of ’19: Trib HSSN breaks down the top stories of the year — No. 1

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 | 1:21 PM

The 2019 high school sports season is nearly in the books.

While we anxiously look ahead to 2020, let’s reflect on the district high school sports scene over the last 12 months.

Here is a look back at the top 19 stories from around the WPIAL in 2019.

HSSN Top 19 in ’19: No. 1 — Doubling down on the gold and perfection

The PIAA has been crowning girls basketball state champions for 47 years and only two teams from the WPIAL have ever won a state championship with a perfect record: Mt. Alvernia in 1983 and Mt. Lebanon in 2009.

Then came the 2018-19 season when that elite list was doubled from two to four.

It was a perfect gold rush for Peters Township in Class 6A and Chartiers Valley in 5A after each team won a WPIAL championship and a PIAA state title with a record of 30-0.

Peters Township coach Bert Kendall returned nearly everybody from a 21-5 team that lost to North Allegheny in the district title game in 2018.

The Indians brought a 24-0 record into a rematch with North Allegheny for district gold. Peters Township clawed back and sent the game into overtime, where they ended the Tigers’ two-year run as champions with a 43-40 victory.

Four wins later, the Indians headed to Hershey and the PIAA 6A title game in an effort to make history and did just that with a 62-49 win over Garnet Valley.

At Chartiers Valley, a familiar face became a “rookie” head coach of the girls team, as long-time Colts boys head coach Tim McConnell took over.

The transition was as smooth as the Colts were on the court. The 25th victory was a 16-point win over Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL 5A finals for the second district crown in three years.

While most of the wins in the regular season and district playoffs were one-sided affairs, the state playoffs were a struggle as Chartiers Valley edged Oakland Catholic by three and Thomas Jefferson by six points to earn a trip to Hershey.

In the PIAA 5A finals, the Colts defeated Archbishop Carroll, 53-40, to complete the rare perfect double-double.

Here’s a look at the rest of the top stories of the year:

No. 19 — Big Ben strikes often

No. 18 — Near perfect on the pitch

No. 17 — Five golden rings

No. 16 — Bucs title run is now a teenager

No. 15 — Worldly results lead to district and state gold

No. 14 — Black out

No. 13 — Big time ballers

No. 12 — Four decade wait is over

No. 11 — Fight for survival

No. 10 — A Crummie ending

No. 9 — Swimmer breaks national mark

No. 8 — PIAA to the rescue

No. 7 — Coaching king hangs up his whistle

No. 6 — Golden run ends

No. 5 — Top cat

No. 4 — He’s back

No. 3 — No slap on the wrist

No. 2 — No return to the Moon for Puff

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