Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Team of the Week: Chartiers Valley

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Monday, March 4, 2019 | 7:46 PM


The Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Team of the Week picked up two postseason wins this past week, the second victory earning them gold for the second time in three years — the Chartiers Valley Colts.

After two and a half decades of coaching the boys basketball team at Chartiers Valley, the big news this offseason was the move from the boys’ to the girls’ basketball team for head coach Tim McConnell.

You could say the transition was a “perfect” one.

Chartiers Valley knocked off Penn Hills in the district semifinals, then the Colts outscored Central Valley, 39-18, in the middle two quarters to win the WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball championship 64-48.

On Wednesday, Chartiers Valley put the hammer down on Penn Hills, winning 45-37 while holding the Indians 13 points below their average.

“What stood out was the way we defended Penn Hills,” McConnell said. “We made it very difficult for them to score.”

Mackenzie Wagner scored 25 to lead Chartiers Valley in the win over Penn Hills.

Defense has stood out all year, but it has carried the Colts in the postseason as they had allowed only 59 points in two playoff victories heading into the title game with Thomas Jefferson, a team Chartiers Valley beat twice during the regular season.

In the title game Saturday, Chartiers Valley held Thomas Jefferson to six first-quarter points and kicked up the offense in the second quarter to grab a 30-15 advantage at halftime.

“We talked about not letting TJ get off to fast start and start feeling good about themselves,” McConnell said. “Clark and DeAngelo have been playing really well in the playoffs. We knew we had keep them from getting off early. I thought we did a great job on both.”

As it has been all year, it was a balanced attack on offense in the win over the Jaguars. Aislin Malcolm and Megan McConnell led the way with 18 points each, Gabi Legister added 14 and Wagner 10.

“We don’t depend on just one person to score,” Tim McConnell said. “Each night, somebody different stepped up for us to lead us in scoring. I think we have a lot of people who can score on different nights.”

The championship was the seventh over for McConnell at Chartiers Valley and also gave the coach a rare Triple Crown of championships, winning gold with his two sons, T.J. and Matty, and now one with his daughter, Megan.

“They are all very special,” McConnell said. “This one may be a little bit more special because of being undefeated.”

Now 25-0 heading into the state playoffs, Chartiers Valley will be a team to beat as the No. 1 team in the Trib HSSN state rankings.

“We need to stay focused and keep playing great defense,” McConnell said.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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