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Basketball

Chartiers Valley, Vincentian basketball stars lead Terrific 10 teams

Chris Harlan
| Saturday, April 4, 2015, 8:33 p.m.
The Trib Terrific 10 basketball players of the year Matty McConnell of Chartiers Valley and Brenna Wise of  Vincentian.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
The Trib Terrific 10 basketball players of the year Matty McConnell of Chartiers Valley and Brenna Wise of Vincentian.
Terrific 10 boys basketball player of the year Matty McConnell, of Chartiers Valley, is photographed Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Trib Total Media offices.
Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media
Terrific 10 boys basketball player of the year Matty McConnell, of Chartiers Valley, is photographed Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Trib Total Media offices.
Terrific 10 girls basketball player of the year Brenna Wise from Vincentian, is photographed Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Trib Total Media offices.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Terrific 10 girls basketball player of the year Brenna Wise from Vincentian, is photographed Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Trib Total Media offices.
Jeannette's Julian Batts
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Jeannette's Julian Batts
Hempfield's Kason Harrell drives to the hoop as Greensburg Salem's Caleb Key looks on during their game at the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at Hempfield. The Spartans won, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell drives to the hoop as Greensburg Salem's Caleb Key looks on during their game at the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at Hempfield. The Spartans won, 63-37.
New Castle's Marcus Hooker (23) drives to the basket past Ambridge's Daylon Carter on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at Ambridge. New Castle won, 56-48.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
New Castle's Marcus Hooker (23) drives to the basket past Ambridge's Daylon Carter on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at Ambridge. New Castle won, 56-48.
North Allegheny's Cole Constantino
Submitted
North Allegheny's Cole Constantino
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro in action during the 2014-15 season.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro in action during the 2014-15 season.
Norwin guard Alayna Gribble drives past Pine-Richland guard Amanda Kalin during a PIAA Class AAAA first-round playoff game Friday, March 6, 2015, at Hempfield.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For Trib Total Media
Norwin guard Alayna Gribble drives past Pine-Richland guard Amanda Kalin during a PIAA Class AAAA first-round playoff game Friday, March 6, 2015, at Hempfield.
Seton-La Salle's Nicolete Newman (left) is defended by Neumann-Goretti's Kamiah Smalls during the PIAA Class AA girls  championship  Friday, March 20, 2015, at Giant Center in Hershey.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Seton-La Salle's Nicolete Newman (left) is defended by Neumann-Goretti's Kamiah Smalls during the PIAA Class AA girls championship Friday, March 20, 2015, at Giant Center in Hershey.
Greensburg Salem guard Claire Oberdorf (1) is fouled by Mt. Pleasant's Kadey Donitzen on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, at Greensburg Salem. Mt. Pleasant won 70-62.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For Trib Total Media
Greensburg Salem guard Claire Oberdorf (1) is fouled by Mt. Pleasant's Kadey Donitzen on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, at Greensburg Salem. Mt. Pleasant won 70-62.
Beaver's Lexi Posset drives to the basket Ambridge on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Beaver's Lexi Posset drives to the basket Ambridge on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.
McGuffey's Sammie Weiss scores against Elizabeth Forward during a WPIAL Class AAA playoff game Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at Canon-McMillan.
Tony Pinneri | For Trib Total Media
McGuffey's Sammie Weiss scores against Elizabeth Forward during a WPIAL Class AAA playoff game Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at Canon-McMillan.
Seton-La Salle guard Cassidy Walsh (right) while defended by Bishop Canevin's Sarah Green (13) during a PIAA Class AA semifinal playoff game Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at Plum. Seton-La Salle won, 61-47.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For Trib Total Media
Seton-La Salle guard Cassidy Walsh (right) while defended by Bishop Canevin's Sarah Green (13) during a PIAA Class AA semifinal playoff game Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at Plum. Seton-La Salle won, 61-47.
Carlynton's Ashleigh Wilson (4), Britney Kowal (10) and Conor Richardson (left) celebrate a foul against Chartiers-Houston's Alexa Williamson (second from left) during a PIAA playoff game Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan. Chartiers-Houston, won 57-49.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Carlynton's Ashleigh Wilson (4), Britney Kowal (10) and Conor Richardson (left) celebrate a foul against Chartiers-Houston's Alexa Williamson (second from left) during a PIAA playoff game Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan. Chartiers-Houston, won 57-49.
Indiana's Riley Stapleton slams his second of three dunks in the first half of a 65-38 victory against Southmoreland on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at Indiana.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Indiana's Riley Stapleton slams his second of three dunks in the first half of a 65-38 victory against Southmoreland on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at Indiana.
Aliquippa's Stephon McGinnis (second from left) dribbles past Redbank Valley's Sam Heeter during a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal playoff game Saturday, March 14, 2014, at Plum. Aliquippa won, 70-36.
Dan Speicher | For Trib Total Media
Aliquippa's Stephon McGinnis (second from left) dribbles past Redbank Valley's Sam Heeter during a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal playoff game Saturday, March 14, 2014, at Plum. Aliquippa won, 70-36.
Mt. Lebanon's Jonny David
Submitted
Mt. Lebanon's Jonny David
Allderdice's Alex Bell (left) and Ramon Creighton pressure Indiana's Kevin Jack on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Squirrel Hill. Allderdice won, 55-30.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Allderdice's Alex Bell (left) and Ramon Creighton pressure Indiana's Kevin Jack on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Squirrel Hill. Allderdice won, 55-30.
Cornell basketball coach Bill Sacco talks with Dane Jackson during halftime of a game against West Mifflin on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Coraopolis.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Cornell basketball coach Bill Sacco talks with Dane Jackson during halftime of a game against West Mifflin on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Coraopolis.
Chartiers Valley's Eddie Flohr defends North Allegheny's Cole Constantino during the 2015 WPIAL Class AAAA boys basketball championship Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Petersen Events Center.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Chartiers Valley's Eddie Flohr defends North Allegheny's Cole Constantino during the 2015 WPIAL Class AAAA boys basketball championship Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Petersen Events Center.
Carlynton’s Conor Richardson attempts a lay-up against Chartiers-Houston during a PIAA game on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Chartiers-Houston won 57-49.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Carlynton’s Conor Richardson attempts a lay-up against Chartiers-Houston during a PIAA game on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Chartiers-Houston won 57-49.

BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Matty McConnell

Chartiers Valley

6-1, SR., GUARD

Charters Valley senior Matty McConnell had a WPIAL medal around his neck for the third year in a row. Each was presented by his father, coach Tim McConnell.

But this one was gold.

A Robert Morris recruit and the WPIAL's leading scorer, McConnell earned gold with 34 points ­— a key swish from beyond half-court included — in a 78-67 victory over North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship.

“It was relieving,” McConnell said, “knowing he put two silvers around my neck the previous two years. I probably had the same feeling my brother had his senior year. It was a good feeling.”

Both Matty (2,018) and brother T.J. (2,406), a senior at Arizona, were 2,000-point scorers who won titles in their senior seasons. Matty McConnell averaged 29.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 4.9 steals this season.

What will you remember about your CV career?

Just being there with my dad, knowing he was always there for me no matter what. Getting to share that with him was probably the most special thing about my four years.

How often do you replay the half-court shot?

Probably most every day in my head. I watched it that weekend a couple of times.

What did you think of RMU's success?

It helped me a lot knowing how good I'll have to do to be able to help that team win. It was real cool knowing I'll be able to play on that team next year and be a part of what we're going to accomplish.

What did you learn from watching your brother play in the NCAA Tournament?

How he has the will to win. He may not be the best or most athletic basketball player, but he's probably one of the smartest players on the court. Just his will to win has shown me what I need to do to excel at that level.

OTHER BOYS TERRIFIC 10

Julian Batts

Jeannette

5-11, Sr., GUARD

Batts averaged 22.4 points for the WPIAL Class A runner-up. He became Jeannette's second all-time scorer with 1,768 points and had a triple-double this season with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Daylon Carter

Ambridge

6-4, SR., FORWARD

Carter averaged 24.8 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Bridgers, who reached the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals. Carter topped 1,400 career points with a 42-point performance in the playoffs.

Cole Constantino

North Allegheny

6-2, SR., GUARD

Constantino led NA (24-4) to the WPIAL Class AAAA finals for the first time since 1999. A 23.4-point scorer, the biggest basket was his driving last-minute shot to win in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

Ramon Creighton

Allderdice

6-1, JR., GUARD

Creighton averaged only 12 points, but the point guard's leadership and late-game poise carried Allderdice (26-3) to the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals for the first time since 1987. Creighton scored 21 in a quarterfinal victory.

Jonny David

Mt. Lebanon

6-2, SR., GUARD

David averaged 18.5 points for the Blue Devils and twice made game-winning shots to beat WPIAL champion Chartiers Valley. David is headed to Kentucky as a walk-on for the Wildcats.

Kason Harrell

Hempfield

6-2, SR., GUARD

An Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) recruit, he averaged 25.2 points. Harrell ranked second among WPIAL Class AAAA scorers and finished his season with 1,905 career points.

Dane Jackson

Cornell

6-1, SR., GUARD

A Pitt football recruit, Jackson set a school record with 51 points in a game and ranked second among WPIAL scorers with a 29.3 regular-season average. He was a member of the Terrific 25 for football.

Stephon McGinnis

Aliquippa

5-8, SR., GUARD

With an 18.5-point average, he was the leading scorer for an Aliquippa team (29-1) that finished as state runner-up in Class AA. An October transfer from Ambridge, McGinnis also averaged 7.5 assists.

Riley Stapleton

Indiana

6-4, SR., FORWARD

The James Madison football recruit averaged 13.1 points and led Indiana (25-3) to its first WPIAL title with a winning layup in the Class AAA finals. He also averaged 6.6 rebounds and had dozens of dunks.

***

GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Brenna Wise

Vincentian Academy

6-1, SR., GUARD/FORWARD

On the same court, in the same arena, against the same opponent, Vincentian Academy senior Brenna Wise celebrated a state championship for the second time in two years.

Yet, this trip to Hershey felt different.

“No pun intended, but it was sweeter,” said Wise, who had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 13 steals in the PIAA Class A final over Old Forge, a 86-38 win. “I couldn't have asked for any better way to end my high school career. With a gold medal around my neck. With the accolades that came with it. And with coach Ron Moncrief winning back-to-back state championships.”

A Pitt recruit, Wise averaged 20.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. She finished her career with 2,331 points, 1,080 rebounds, four WPIAL titles and two state titles.

Was this title harder or easier than last season?

I'd say a little bit of both because you had the pressure of last year. You knew you were getting the best of every team you played. But at the same time, it was little bit easier because we had the experience and we knew what it took to get there.

What was your favorite game this season?

The WPIAL championship down at Pitt. Just to play on my (future) home court with my current teammates and coach. And then sitting behind the bench with my future coach is something not many people can say has happened to them. That is something I will never forget.

What was your reaction to Pitt's success?

I was so unbelievably proud to be a Panther — just to say that's where I'm going next year. After the state championship, when I found out they won that first (NCAA) Tournament game I went crazy. I was more excited for their win than I think I was our win.

Where do you keep your collection of medals?

They all hang around my bed, so at night I have something to dream about.

OTHER GIRLS TERRIFIC 10

Sydney Bordonaro

Burrell

5-7, Sr., GUARD

A Pepperdine recruit, Bordonaro averaged 20.9 points, 4.6 assists and 2.7 steals for WPIAL Class AA semifinalist Burrell (22-5). Bordonaro compiled 1,754 career points.

Alayna Gribble

Norwin

6-0, SR., GUARD

Committed to William & Mary, Gribble averaged 18.7 points and led the Knights (24-5) to their first WPIAL title. She scored 21 in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship and has more than 1,200 career points.

Nicolete Newman

Seton-La Salle

5-7, SR., GUARD

A Cleveland State recruit and solid perimeter shooter, Newman averaged 13 points for the PIAA Class AA runner-up . Her senior class went 107-15, won three WPIAL titles and two state championships.

Claire Oberdorf

Greensburg Salem

5-7, SR., GUARD

The second-leading scorer in the WPIAL, Oberdorf averaged 26.6 points. A Marist softball recruit, she scored a school record 49 points in a Section 3-AAA victory over Derry and graduates with more than 1,500.

Chassidy Omogrosso

Blackhawk

5-5, SR., GUARD

The Duquesne recruit and WPIAL leading scorer (27.1 ppg) won consecutive WPIAL and state Class AAA titles. She's sixth all-time in the WPIAL with 2,683 career points.

Lexi Posset

Beaver

5-7, SR., GUARD

A Rider recruit, Posset ranked fifth among WPIAL scorers with a 22.5-point average and led the Bobcats to the second round of states. She scored 32 points in a WPIAL Class AAA playoff game.

Conor Richardson

Carlynton

5-10, Sr., GUARD

The Duquesne recruit averaged 19.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for the WPIAL Class AA semifinalist. Richardson posted a double-double in a WPIAL playoff game with 25 points and 14 rebounds in the win.

Cassidy Walsh

Seton-La Salle

5-9, SR., GUARD

A Pitt recruit, Walsh averaged 13 points, won a second straight WPIAL Class AA title and finished as a state runner-up. She hit a half-court game-winner in the PIAA second round, when she scored 25.

Sammie Weiss

McGuffey

5-11, SR., GUARD

Weiss was third among WPIAL scorers (25.6 ppg). A Cal (Pa.) recruit, she also averaged 6.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals. She led McGuffey to its first PIAA playoff win and graduates with 2,394 career points.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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