Tigers battle, but fall
GREENSBURG — Chartiers Valley appears to be steamrolling its way to girls basketball history and possibly a second consecutive unbeaten season and state title.
But Hollidaysburg certainly put a scare into the Lady Colts, for a half anyway.
The Lady Tigers scored the first seven points of the game, led by four after a quarter and trailed by just six at halftime before falling, 55-38, in the second round of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs Wednesday at Greensburg-Salem High School.
“The girls came out very strong,” Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said. “The past couple days at practice, they were determined to compete with this team for 32 minutes.”
Chartiers Valley’s win was its 57th in a row — a new WPIAL record.
“We just love it,” Lady Colts forward Perri Page said. “We don’t think about it as much as you think we would. We are proud of it though, and we fight hard and leave everything out there.”
Hollidaysburg got 3-pointers from Allison Hileman, Morgan O’Neill and Marin Miller in the first quarter and led 15-11 after eight minutes.
The Lady Colts and coach Tim McConnell, brother of former Saint Francis coach Tom McConnell, actually begin to show some frustration.
“It felt awesome,” Hileman said. “We proved we can play with anyone.”
Chartiers Valley fought back in the second quarter behind the play of Aislin Malcolm, who finished with a team-high 19 points.
Miller kept the Lady Tigers close, scoring all nine of her team’s second-quarter points, on her way to a game-high 22 points.
Hollidaysburg trailed 30-24 at halftime, but the 3-point shots that weren’t falling for Chartiers Valley in the first half started to find the bottom of the net in the third quarter.
Megan McConnell’s second trey of the quarter put the Lady Colts ahead by double digits for the first time with 4:45 left. McConnell finished with 16 points.
“We don’t even think about the score,” Page said. “We know if we play our hardest and we lose, it’s OK. We just try to push through.”
By the end of the quarter, Chartiers Valley had stretched its lead to 15, and it played keep-away from the Lady Tigers in the fourth period.
“The experience for all our kids will help,” Jubeck said. “We played three freshmen and two sophomores today, and that experience moving forward will help everyone on this team. They know what to expect, and they know what it feels like to win a state playoff game.”
Hileman, one of two starting seniors for Hollidaysburg, finished with nine points.
“We have a great group of seniors that put Hollidaysburg basketball back on the map,” Jubeck said. “One of their goals from the start of the season was to win a first-round state playoff game, and they did that. We hadn’t done that in a long time, and from the time we had last year until today, they have constantly been in the gym and have played tremendous leadership roles.”
The Lady Tigers wrapped up their season at 18-8. Chartiers Valley will play Thomas Jefferson in a WPIAL semifinal rematch Friday in the quarterfinals.
“I’ll always remember my time spent with these girls, even outside of basketball,” Hileman said. “My best friends came from this basketball team.”
CHARTIERS VALLEY (55): McConnell 4 5-6 16, He. Cowan 1 0-0 2, Page 5 0-1 12, Ha. Cowan 1 0-0 3, Malcolm 5 8-10 19, Vaites 1 0-0 3. Totals — 17 13-17 55.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (38): Hileman 4 0-0 9, O’Neill 1 0-0 3, Bell 0 2-2 2, Miller 8 3-4 22, Hatajik 1 0-0 2, Figard 0 0-0 0, Lear 0 0-0 0, Stitt 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 5-6 38.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Chartiers Valley 11 19 15 10 — 55
Hollidaysburg 15 9 6 8 — 38
3-point goals: Hollidaysburg 5 (Miller 3, O’Neill, Hileman); Chartiers Valley 8 (McConnell 3, Page 2, Ha. Cowan, Malcolm, Vaites)
Records: Hollidaysburg (18-8); Chartiers Valley (27-0)
Officials: Dave Reimer, Sarah Fye, Ted Oppegard