Just more than one week ago, the Chartiers Valley girls basketball team claimed the WPIAL Championship in the 5A classification. Four years prior, the Colts also made an appearance in the title game, but came up just short. Among the standouts on that team in 2012-13 was Mariah Wells, who just completed a successful career on the hardwood at Seton Hill University. She is this week’s feature for the WPIAL Alum Q&A.
Wells enjoyed multiple impressive campaigns at Chartiers Valley, as the Colts went 25-4 during her junior year in 2011-12. In the WPIAL Quad-A postseason, the Colts defeated Beaver and Uniontown, before losing to Hopewell in the semifinals. Chartiers Valley made a run in the state playoffs just a few weeks later, though, defeating Westinghouse, Franklin, and Blackhawk to advance to the PIAA semifinals, where the Colts were ousted by Archbishop Wood.
In her senior campaign, Wells helped guide her squad to the title game, as Chartiers Valley knocked off Shaler, Upper St. Clair and Mount Lebanon en route to the championship tilt. In that contest, though, the Colts fell to Bethel Park. The team rebounded in the PIAA bracket, defeating Allderdice, Gateway and Mount Lebanon to again reach the state semifinals, compiling a record of 22-8.
Following the conclusion of her high-school tenure, Wells matriculated to Seton Hill University in Greensburg, and joined the Griffins basketball team. Her freshman year, Wells was relegated to a limited role, as she played in 17 games, but averaged less than 1 point per contest.
The next season, Wells’ role expanded considerably, as she played in all 29 games, including one start. She scored nearly 8 points per game, collected 3 rebounds per contest, and ranked second on Seton Hill in steals and three-pointers. That campaign, the Griffins finished with a mark of 12-17, falling in the opening round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) postseason.
In 2015-16, Wells started every game for the Griffins, as she averaged 8 points and 6 boards per game, leading the squad in total rebounds, while ranking second in field goals and three-pointers made. Seton Hill made strides collectively, too, as the team went 14-15, including 10-12 in PSAC action.
This season, the Griffins continued their upward trajectory, with Wells again among the leaders. She provided 8.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, and ranked second in steals, too. Seton Hill achieved a winning record, at 16-13, with a 12-10 conference mark. However, the team could still not advance beyond the first round of the PSAC playoffs, as the season concluded for the Griffins in a loss to Edinboro.
After wrapping up her final season as a collegiate athlete, Mariah took the time to answer questions about her leadership, her fondest memories from Chartiers Valley, and several of her hobbies away from the hardwood.
Q: How would you evaluate your senior season?
A: Overall, I feel that my senior season went well. It honestly went by so fast. It feels like yesterday that we were playing in our first scrimmage.
Q: What specific aspect of your game improved the most from when you began at Seton HIll?
A: I would say my leadership skills have improved throughout my time at Seton Hill.
Q: What was your mindset immediately after your final college game concluded?
A: It honestly didn’t feel like it was my last game. I still feel like I am going to come back next year and play in a Seton Hill jersey again.
Q: Did you consider yourself to be one of the team leaders this season?
A: I was one of the captains of this team. I lead by example, and not with my voice.
Q: The Griffins had their best record this season during your tenure. Did your team meet its preseason goals?
A: Two of our major goals were to win a playoff game and have the highest GPA in the conference and be ranked in the nation for our GPA. We did not meet our first goal, and I am not sure about our second goal.
Q: What led to your decision to attend Seton Hill?
A: I was originally recruited by Ferne Labati, and I loved her personality and how great of a person she was to me. I also fell in love with the campus and how friendly everyone was.
Q: What is your major and ideal future profession?
A: Exercise science and I want to get my doctorate in physical therapy.
Q: What was your favorite college class?
A: Exercise senior synthesis with Dr. Brian Larouere.
Q: Chartiers Valley girls basketball had great success during your time there. What was your fondest memory?
A: During our practices, we would play this game called blood and we would be split up into two teams. We all were so competitive and would do anything to win and gain bragging rights. Also, when we beat Mount Lebanon when nobody believed in us.
Q: Do you still stay in touch with any of your former teammates or coaches?
A: YES! I love my old teammates and coaches. We have a group chat together and we always are talking to one another about things that are happening in our lives. I also coach with Spencer Stefko over the summer, and he is like a second dad to me; no matter what is going on, he will always be there for me.
Q: What advice would you give to yourself as a high-school freshman?
A: Have as much fun as you can and get out and meet new people.
Q: What is your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving, because I love to eat
Q: Is there a movie to which you can repeat nearly every line?
A: Any Disney movie
Q: What are your hobbies aside from basketball?
A: Crafting; watching TV shows; swimming; coaching
Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you take with you?
A: TV with cable to watch my shows; an unlimited amount of fruit snacks and juice; and my dog, Mocha.