For the third year in a row, the Chartiers Valley girls basketball team captured a WPIAL championship.

The Colts defeated Trinity 62-40 in the Class 5A championship game held March 15 at Peters Township High School’s AHN Arena.

The Hillers handed CV a 49-42 loss Jan. 23, snapping the Colts’ state-record 64-game winning streak.

“We never talked about revenge,” said CV head coach Tim McConnell. “It was all about winning a WPIAL championship.

“Honestly, I didn’t care about (the winning) streak. The streak I care about is three in a row. We were here to win WPIAL championships.”

The Colts took to their task immediately, using an 18-2 run to streak to a 22-7 lead that morphed into a 36-25 advantage at intermission. CV outscored the Hillers 15-7 in the third quarter and 11-7 in the fourth.

McConnell said CV’s fast start was “absolutely” important.

“We wanted to come out swinging,” he said.

From the onset, the Colts fired on all cylinders.

CV converted 21 of 37 from the field for the game, good for 57%. The Colts made 14 of 22 shots in the first half, which was good for 64% from the field.

Four junior starters finished in double figures.

Aislin Malcolm led the charge. The Pitt recruit scored 19 points. She was 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Perri Page tossed in 18 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. She is a Columbia University prospect.

Twins Hallie and Helene Cowan chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Hallie was 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

Despite not dwelling on having their state-record winning streak snapped, McConnell said the Colts being seeded No. 2 in the tournament motivated his players.

“We relish the underdog role,” he said. “When we lost to them earlier in the season, we learned a lot about ourselves as a team.

“We didn’t play good defense that day. They outworked us, they out-hustled us,” McConnell added. “This was one of the most complete games we’ve played.”

Page played particularly well on defense. She limited Trinity standout Courtney Dahlquist to five points. Dahlquist scored 19 points in Trinity’s win against CV. She averaged 17.9 points per game this season.

“(Dahlquist) was a focus,” McConnell said. “That first game she made wide open three-pointers. She’s been making four or five threes a game since then. Perri did a phenomenal job of guarding her.”

Kaylin Venick pumped in 15 points for the Hillers, who converted just 15 of 56 of their field goal attempts and 4 of 23 from 3-point range.

Alyssa Clutter followed with 10 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds.

McConnell now owns nine WPIAL titles – six with the CV boys and three with the girls. No matter where the games are played, winning WPIAL championships is special, McConnell said.

“I know it wasn’t at the Pete, or the Palumbo Center or Robert Morris, but it never gets old. It’s a WPIAL championship,” he said.

“I never got into coaching to break streaks. I never even thought about breaking a streak. (The winning streak) was nice, but you can’t take away a WPIAL championship.”

The Colts (23-3) were scheduled to begin their pursuit of a PIAA title March 20 against District 10 champion Warren (22-3) in the first round of the state tournament.

CV won the PIAA title in 2019, but could not defend their title in 2020 after the state tournament was canceled after the quarterfinals in response to coronavirus pandemic.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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