Recap of Southern Fulton and McConnellsburg in the District 5 basketball tournaments at UPJ Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
Friday evening, McConnellsburg's Bronwyne Mellott bowed her head as her coach, Brent Seville, hung a District 5 gold medal around her neck - a moment that was a long time coming for Mellott and the Lady Spartan basketball team.
We all remember the intense all-Fulton County district final last year when McConnellsburg fell to Southern Fulton in the championship game. But this year, in a new classification, McConnellsburg reigned victorious with a 62-46 win over Northern Bedford for the school's first girls basketball district title in 18 years.
"It's bittersweet for it to all be over now," Mellott said, "but it's also kind of ironic because this year marks 30 years since my dad won districts."
Flash back 30 years, almost to the day, when Bronwyne's father, Howard Mellott, hoisted the 1987 District 5 boys championship plaque in a Forbes Road uniform, a year after losing to Southern Fulton in the last all-Fulton County District 5 championship.
Her mother, Karla, was also a District 5 champion in high school. She was a member of the 1986 Forbes Road girls District 5 championship squad her junior year. The Cardinals fell in the final the next year to McConnellsburg.
"It's kind of like deja vu," Howard Mellott said. "It's neat reminiscing with her and it's a great feeling to see them have the same experiences and opportunities that we went through; playing the same teams and traveling to the same schools we went to when we played, and it's a lot of fun."
The 1987 Forbes Road district championship team was coached by Dave Hoover, the former McConnellsburg girls assistant coach and father-in-law to Seville. Hoover passed away unexpectedly during the postseason last year, and since then, the Lady Spartans have played in his memory as motivation to win a district championship.
Friday's final was especially memorable for the Mellott clan, however, as Bronwyne inked herself into the McConnellsburg record book as the school's all-time leading scorer, breaking Marla McElhaney's 1991 scoring record of 2,281 points.
"It was a great feeling to watch her break that record," Howard Mellott said. "You are always hoping for the best and wanting them to do well, but when you see them working that hard and putting all the time in, it's just the icing on the cake. It's really rewarding as a parent to see her and the team do so well."