The Chartiers-Houston High School girls basketball team knew better than most how difficult it is to win a WPIAL championship. There are plenty of pitfalls that must be avoided along the way and sometimes they can come in the form of injuries.
That’s what derailed the Bucs in 2016, when standout forward Alexa Williamson went down with a season-ending knee injury. Even without their leading scorer and a dominating force in the low post, the Bucs made a deep run into the postseason, gaining valuable experience along the way that paid off in a big way in 2017.
Healthy and playoff-tested Chartiers-Houston hit Vincentian Academy with a first-quarter blitz, forging a 13-point lead after eight minutes, and the Bucs led the rest of the way for an impressive 47-35 victory in the WPIAL Class AA championship game at the Petersen Events Center.
Chartiers-Houston became only the third Washington County school, and the first in 25 years, to win a WPIAL girls basketball title. Washington won a championship in 1992 and Immaculate Conception was the first, accomplishing the feat in 1986.
The Bucs never trailed against Vincentian, a program that won the past five Class A titles. Chartiers-Houston led 9-2 less than 90 seconds into the game, 17-4 after the first quarter and by then it was only a matter of time until the Bucs were hoisting the gold championship trophy and reacting to their loud and loyal fans in the arena’s second level of seating.
Chartiers-Houston finished the season with a 24-3 record, losing to Bellwood-Antis 80-66 in the second round of the PIAA playoffs. That game ended the Bucs’ 18-game winning streak.