The 2019 girls' basketball season was beyond Chartiers Valley's wildest dreams. By virtue of their 53-40 victory against Archbishop Carroll on March 23 at the Giant Center in Hershey, the Colts capped a perfect 30-0 campaign and capture their first state title in program history.

"At the beginning of the season, I can't say that I could imagine that we would go undefeated and be state champions," said MacKenzie Wagner, "but I knew that we would be really good."

In the final game of her scholastic career before she heads off to play at Loyola, Wagner was really good. The senior fired in a game-high 24 points. She converted 8 of 10 field goals, 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and cashed in on 6 of 7 free throws. She also finished with two assists, a steal and four rebounds.

"This is the best feeling ever," Wagner said. "To end my senior year as a state champion is utterly amazing. I never thought we'd make it like this but this has been one of the best experiences for me ever."

Though a freshman, Aislin Malcolm added to the experience. The 5-10 guard pitched in six points and dished up six assists.

"I was nervous," Malcolm said, "but then I am always nervous before every game. Whenever the tipoff hits though, I am fine.

With Megan McConnell at point guard and Gabi Legister in the low post, the Colts, indeed, were perfectly fine as they stretched a 17-12 first frame edge to 42-29 by the end of three quarters. Though outscored, 8-6, in the second stanza, CV broke open the game with a 19-9 advantage in the third quarter.

While McConnell pumped in five points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Legister fired in 13 tallies and added seven boards. Alexandra Ferrella and Perry Page completed the scoring with three and two tallies.

"It's unbelievable," said McConnell. "When I wake up in the morning, I'm not going to believe it but this is the best feeling I could ever imagine."

Not many teams can imagine doing what the Colts did as only four other teams have achieved the feat of running the table and concluding with a state championship trophy. Neighboring Peters Township accomplished the milestone with its win against Garnet Valley, 62-49, the night before on March 22. Mount Alvernia in 1983, Mt. Lebanon in 2009 and Seton La Salle in 2012 were the other undefeated state champions.

"This is very special," concluded CV floor boss Tim McConnell.

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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