McConnell debuts at Chartiers Valley
Former boys coach wins his first with Colts girls by beating Mt. Lebanon
Tim McConnell certainly isn’t new to the high school coaching ranks.
Friday night, however, was an entirely fresh experience for McConnell, who spent the past 25 years serving as Chartiers Valley’s boys basketball coach, when he made his debut as the Colts girls basketball coach.
“It really felt like I was coaching my first game, ever,” McConnell said. “I was nervous. I was excited. It was much different from any boys game I’ve experienced. I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen.”
The result, though, ended in favor of McConnell’s Colts.
Chartiers Valley outlasted Mt. Lebanon, 64-40, at the North Allegheny Tournament. The Colts built a 15-5 advantage after the first quarter en route to leading the Blue Devils, 35-15, at the half.
“Defensively, we played very well in the first half and I’m really pleased with our play on defense,” McConnell said. “We also shot the ball very well.
“The girls are working hard and I liked the way we’ve been practicing. I can’t ask for anything more.”
Aislin Malcolm, a freshman, drained six 3-pointers and scored 18 points to guide Chartiers Valley. Mackenzie Wagner also scored 18, while Gabby Legister added 16.
Ashleigh Conner and Morgan Palmer each scored nine points for Mt. Lebanon.
Other top games
Latrobe’s Carly Augistine scored 19 points to help the Wildcats earn a 64-57 decision against Bishop Canevin at the Indiana Tipoff Tournament. Anna Rafferty followed with 16, Kayla White had 13 and Rachel Ridilla chipped in with 12 for the Wildcats, who led 33-25 at the half. Shamyjha Abbott paced the Crusaders with 21 points. Alyssa Pollice hit four 3-pointers for 17 points and Diatha Allen added 10.
Jessica Persin drained five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 18 points to help guide Hempfield to a 52-36 victory against Mount Pleasant in the Greensburg Salem Tournament. Sarah Liberatore followed with 16 for the Spartans, who led 32-16 at the half. Chloe Jaworski led the Vikings with 11, while Juliann Kalp had 10.
Reilly Sunday led Moon with a gamebest 17 points and Sofia Mancini followed with 10 as the Tigers beat Moniteau, 5924, in the Moon Tournament. Moon held the Warriors to just one point in the second quarter and led 24-13 at the half.
Mackenzie Amalia scored a game-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, to guide Blackhawk to a 70-48 win against Canon-McMillan at the Trinity Tournament. Mady Aulbach followed with 19 for the Cougars, who owned a 35-23 advantage at halftime. Lacey Russell scored a team-best 10 points for the Big Macs.
Baldwin’s nine-point lead at halftime helped the Highlanders take a 51-43 decision against Elizabeth Forward at the Baldwin/Peters Tournament. Haley Radomsky led Baldwin with 14 points, while Megan Dryburgh followed with 13 and Anna Lucarelli had 12. Dryburgh scored seven of Baldwin’s 17 points in the first quarter en route to the Highlanders taking a 31-22 lead at the half. Brianna Spirnak led Elizabeth Forward with 15 and Julia Flournoy scored 13.
Jonna Clark was 8 of 10 from the freethrow line and scored a game-high 25 points as Thomas Jefferson cruised to a 7440 decision against Woodland Hills at the Baldwin/Peters Tournament. Delaney Ranallo followed with 12 and Shaylor Williams scored 10 for the Jaguars, who took a commanding 33-15 advantage at the half. Nya Morris led the Wolverines with 11.
Neshannock received a 21-point effort from Bella Burrelli to help guide the Lancers to a 58-35 win against Shaler at the Ambridge Tournament. Kaylee George and Bri Dean each added 11 for Neshannock, which took a 35-22 lead at the half against the Titans. Emily Cavacini scored a teamhigh 21 for Shaler.
Greensburg Central Catholic’s Bella Satkell sank seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 27 points as the Centurians earned a 62-47 win at the Fayette County Coaches Tournament against Uniontown. Greensburg Central Catholic led 34-24 at the half against the Raiders, who were led by Mya Murray’s 22-point effort.
Upper St. Clair’s 19 points in the fourth quarter helped the Panthers secure a 49-38 victory against Keystone Oaks at the South Fayette Tournament. Upper St. Clair led 2120 at halftime and was led by Sarah Price’s team-best 16 points. Cassie Kartsonas and Alex Prunzik each followed with 12. Jaylen Hoffman scored 16 for the Golden Eagles and Gillian Piccolino added 11.
Tia Johnson and Bella Pelaia each came through with big-game efforts to help Mars cruise past Kennedy Catholic, 74-52, at the Slippery Rock Tournament. Johnson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 28 points, while Pelaia netted four 3s and scored 22 for the Planets, who led 43-23 at the half. Malia Magestro scored 39 for Kennedy Catholic. She hit seven 3-pointers.
Aniya Walker scored 13 of her gamehigh 27 points in the third quarter to help Ambridge top North Hills at the Ambridge Tournament, 57-49. Walker, a senior, also grabbed 14 rebounds for the Bridgers, who trailed 24-20 at the half. Dasha Jackson followed Walker with 18. Lexi Kotwica scored 17 and Sydney Ryan added 10 for the Indians.
Maddie Dziezgowski scored 16 points to lead Bethel Park to a 61-22 rout against Pine-Richland at the Bethel Park Tournament. Olivia Westphal followed with 16 for the Blackhawks, who took a 29-14 advantage at the half. Megan Lueller scored 10 for the Rams.
Lizzy Groetson scored 12 points and Brooke Barcia added 11 as North Allegheny beat Penn Hills, 60-47 at the North Allegheny Tournament. Amoni Blackwell scored 16 for the Indians.
Stars of the night
Jada Lee recorded a triple-double as Carlynton routed New Brighton, 57-11, at the Carlynton Tournament. Lee, a junior guard, threw down 20 points to go along with her 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Angelica Diallo followed with 15 and Kendal Kline had 11 for the Cougars, who ran out to a 44-7 lead at the half.
Amaia Johnson’s 31-point performance proved crucial for East Allegheny as the Wildcats earned a 63-59 victory at the Serra Catholic Tornament against Alderdice. Johnson, a junior, hit three 3s for East Allegheny, which led 29-23 points at halftime. C’Keiyah Marshall chipped in with 13 and Abby Henderson added 11 for the Wildcats. Nautica Burwell led the Dragons with 24 points.
Woodland Hills’ Tre’mon Josey defends Ambridge’s Anthony Cvitkovic on a fast break at the Midland Tournament at Geneva College Friday.