Five earn all-state honors in basketball
Five area athletes, all Almanac all-stars, earned All-State recognition for their basketball accomplishments this past season.
Alexa Williamson from Chartiers-Houston topped the list, achieving first-team honors at the Class A level. The 6-1 junior center led the Buccaneers to their first-ever WPIAL title after missing her sophomore season due to an knee injury that required reconstructive surgery on her ACL.
Williamson averaged 23.5 points per game to go along with 12.5 rebounds and four blocked shots per game for the Bucs, who posted a 24-3 record and reached the Sweet Sixteen round in the PIAA tournament.
“Alexa made a fantastic comeback this year,” said C-H floor boss Laura Montecalvo. “She has used talent and a lot of hard work to overcome adversity. She was a driving force in our run to a WPIAL championship.”
Brionna Allen and Mitchell King, who gained second-team All-State laurels, were driving forces behind Bishop Canevin’s championship runs as both the girls’ and boys’ squads captured section banners and advanced deep into the district and state tournaments.
Allen guided Canevin to the WPIAL crown and a runner-up finish in the PIAA. The Crusaders finished 23-6 overall after falling to Neumann-Goretti, 62-56, in the Class AAA state final.
In helping Canevin cruise to its seventh section banner and fourth WPIAL championship appearance, whipping Neshannock, 65-36, to secure the district title, Allen averaged 14.2 points and eight rebounds per game. The junior excelled as well on the defensive end of the court.
“Brionna took pride in her defensive ability,” Canevin floor boss Tim Joyce said. “She always guarded the other team’s best player,” he added, noting how Allen held the WPIAL’s leading scorer, Amani Johnson, to eight points, two over three quarters, in a second-round state playoff win against East Allegheny, 51-25.
“She was our hardest worker and our most consistent player,” added Joyce, who noted Allen almost never came off the floor. “I believe she is the best all-around player in the WPIAL.”
Meanwhile, King led the Canevin boys to the Final Four in the WPIAL and the PIAA tournaments. The Crusaders finished 22-6 overall.
A senior guard, King averaged 20 points per game. The all-section performer grabbed six rebounds and dished up three assists. He also managed three steals a game and converted 47 percent of his field goals and 71 percent of his foul shots. He buried 71 three-pointers.
“Mitchell can do it all offensively,” said Canevin skipper Kevin Trost. “He can shoot the three and he can finish at the rim. He handles the ball extremely well and isn’t afraid to take big shots.”
At Char-Houston, AJ Myers took the big shots. The senior averaged 22.5 points per game. The Section 2-AA MVP pulled down 6.7 rebounds, dished up 3.4 assists and managed 3.1 steals per game.
Named to the All-State third team, Myers finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,638 points.
Though only a freshman, Megan McConnell grabbed second team All-State honors in the second-highest classification. The 5-5 guard helped Chartiers Valley to its first WPIAL championship for girls’ basketball. The Colts finished 20-8 overall after falling to Trinity, which had the state’s Player of the Year in Sierra Kotchman, in quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament.
An all-section performer, McConnell averaged 11.3 points per game during the regular season but 16 through an 11-game winning streak that spanned the playoffs.
Megan plays with the poise and the confidence of a senior,” said CV skipper Dan Slain. “She has the talent and the toughness of her brothers (TJ & Matty) and the basketball smarts of her dad (Coach Tim McConnell). The hotter the lights, the brighter she shines as a fiery competitor.”