Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Player of the Week: Chartiers Valley’s Mackenzie Wagner
By: Don Rebel
Monday, March 18, 2019 | 5:51 PM
School: Chartiers Valley
Whatever Chartiers Valley needed last week, Mackenzie Wagner was there for her team as the dream season continues into the state semifinals.
The senior did her part as the Colts picked up two more wins in a season filled with nothing but victories, leaving CV two wins shy of perfection.
“She is a great leader for this team,” first-year coach Tim McConnell said. “She is very competitive, as well. As a captain, she really does a nice job of leading this team.”
On Wednesday, in the PIAA second round, Chartiers Valley jumped out early and led Slippery Rock, 33-11, by halftime. By the end of the third quarter, the Rockets had only scored 15 points.
“I told the girls in the beginning of the year if they played defense, we had a chance to be really good,” McConnell said. “We work on defense every day. Mackenzie has really improved her defense from last year. She has really worked on becoming a complete player by improving her defense.”
Wagner scored 11 points in the 54-35 victory over Slippery Rock.
On Saturday in the PIAA quarterfinals, things did not come easy for the WPIAL champions.
Oakland Catholic stood toe-to-toe with Chartiers Valley in a back-and-forth first half, and the Colts led 27-25 at intermission.
The Eagles did a great job defensively on Wagner, holding her to two points in the first half.
Oakland Catholic built up its biggest lead of the game midway through the third quarter at 34-28 when Wagner took over.
The senior guard hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game as she hit the switch offensively.
“Those back-to-back 3s were so big because they had us on the ropes and she sparked us to come back and tie it,” McConnell said.
Wagner’s big second half helped the Colts hold off the Eagles, 46-43, as she ended up with 17 points, including several big free throws down the stretch.
“She is a great free throw shooter,” McConnell said. “She is a big-time player who wants the ball in her hands to get fouled late in the game.”
Wagner’s play epitomizes this Chartiers Valley team, where there are no super stars and everybody who hits the court in a Colts uniform seems to shine in all aspects of the game.
“(Wagner) has always been a great shooter, but her defense and rebounding has really improved to make her a much better player,” McConnell said.
The next step for Chartiers Valley is a rematch of the WPIAL championship game against a Thomas Jefferson team the Colts defeated twice in Section 1-5A games.
“I am just glad we are playing for a chance to go to Hershey,” McConnell said. “As for TJ, We need to contain (Jenna) Clark and (Alyssa) DeAngelo to have a chance.”
Makenna Marisa, Peters Township
Another perfect season has continued through three rounds of the state playoffs thanks to the play of a standout senior. Like Chartiers Valley, Peters Township remains undefeated thanks to Makenna Marisa, who scored 18 points in a 62-44 win over Bethel Park, the fourth win of the season for the Indians over the rival Black Hawks. Then, in the quarterfinals against Norwin, Marisa dropped in 20 points as the Indians beat the Knights, 64-47.
Alyssa DeAngelo, Thomas Jefferson
The one-two punch of Jenna Clark and Alyssa DeAngelo continue to be a lethal combination for opponents of Thomas Jefferson as the Jaguars have further than any team in program history — the PIAA semifinals. DeAngelo scored 17 points in the second round as TJ rolled to a 55-41 win over Mount Saint Joseph. She then followed up with a game-high 14 points in the Jaguars’ 48-39 quarterfinals victory over District 3 champion Palmyra.
Sierra DeAngelo, Oakland Catholic
The season came to a stunning stop for Oakland Catholic when a desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game against Chartiers Valley rattled around and popped out. But the Eagles would have never got to that electrifying moment if not for the play of Sierra DeAngelo, who scored a game-high 16 points in Oakland Catholic’s 39-27 win over Penn Hills. Then, against Chartiers Valley, DeAngelo scored 18 points, 16 in the first half and 12 in the opening quarter of a 46-43 heartbreaking loss to the Colts.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.