Class AAA boys: Pajama party fun for Chartiers Valley



Chartiers Valley's large student section was dressed in pajamas Tuesday night for the WPIAL Class AAA semifinal.

The Chartiers Valley players took the theme to heart and said good night to Uniontown's playoff run.

Uniontown's hopes of making it to a title game for the first time in 12 years were dashed by Chartiers Valley, 71-57, in a Class AAA semifinal before a standing-room crowd at Baldwin.

The win puts Chartiers Valley (24-1) into a title game for the 10th time under coach Tim McConnell.

"Shawn Sherry, my assistant coach, just said to me, 'Coach, it never gets old.' I agree," McConnell said outside of his team's locker room.

Chartiers Valley got a big game from senior point guard Jerrad Tuite, who made 17 of 23 free throws, including 14 of 17 in the fourth quarter. He was one of the main reasons the Colts extended a three-point halftime lead to as much as 15 in the second half.

"The second half, I thought he was phenomenal," said McConnell.

Chartiers Valley had to overcome foul trouble to leading scorer Matty McConnell, the coach's son.

Matty McConnell averages 22 points a game and had averaged 28 over the past seven contests, but he picked up two fouls seven seconds apart in the second quarter, and the second was his third foul of the half. McConnell sat the final 6:35 of the half.

But sparked by a 3-pointer by Ross Wilkerson at the first-half buzzer, Chartiers Valley took a 26-23 lead and momentum to the locker room at the break.

"To be up at halftime with the limited time Matty played, I thought that was a win for us," said Tim McConnell.

"I thought the biggest play of the half was Wilkerson hitting the 3."

An 8-0 run in the third quarter gave Chartiers Valley a 38-29 lead and Uniontown (21-2) couldn't recover.

Ed Flohr gave Chartiers Valley a lift off the bench with 15 points and Matty McConnell finished with 10 and 11 rebounds. Despite Uniontown having a size advantage, Chartiers Valley was outrebounded by only 40-38.

Guards Jordan Pratt and Lyric Ellis led Uniontown with 15 points.

Pratt averages 20.2, but he had only six points in the first three quarters, going for 3 for 9 from the field.

"I had a college coach text message me the other night and say 'I think the Colts and [the University of] North Carolina play the hardest,' " McConnell said.

"If you put me with North Carolina's class, I'll take that."

Other semifinal

Central Valley 68, Thomas Jefferson 59: Central Valley (21-3) outscored Thomas Jefferson, 15-6, in overtime to gain a championship berth.

Thomas Jefferson (23-2), hoping to make the title game for only the second time in school history, took a 51-45 lead with 2:01 left in regulation, but Central Valley came back and tied it on Matt Kline's three-point play with 28 seconds left.

Kline's two free throws then gave the Warriors a 53-51 lead, but Charlie Scharbo's drive and layup with three seconds left sent the game to overtime.

Kline fueled Central Valley in overtime with seven points. Thomas Jefferson missed four free throws in overtime.

Kline finished with 20 points, teammate John George 15 and Michael Sims 14.

Zach Talley led Thomas Jefferson with 25.


For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.

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