USC rebounds to beat Lebo
Upper St. Clair overcame a 12-point deficit and defeated Mt. Lebanon in the Section 4-AAAA boys’ basketball finale.
With the triumph the Panthers completed league play with a 13-1 slate. With an 18-3 overall mark, they solidified their hold on a possible No. 2 seed in the WPIAL tournament, behind undefeated New Castle.
Despite the defeat, Lebo clinched a post-season berth with its 7-7 section mark. The Blue Devils are 10-12 overall.
Thanks to five, 3-point field goals, Lebo streaked to a 28-16 advantage before USC closed the gap by halftime, 28-23. The Panthers completed a 12-point run to tie the contest on Pete Coughlin’s trey with 6:37 to play in the third quarter. After Jordan Grabowski dished off to John Duffy for a bucket, USC assumed its first lead in the contest, 30-28, with 5:23 left in the third.
USC, which knocked down four triples in the first half, finished with seven buckets from beyond the arc as did the Blue Devils. All three, second-half shots occurred during USC’s third-quarter uprising.
Tyler Roth scored all five of Lebo’s third-quarter points as he pulled the Blue Devils even, 32-32. Roth led all scorers with 17 tallies.
Justin David gave the Blue Devils their last lead, 37-36, before USC went on a seven-point run to vault ahead for good. Will Ross and Grabowski converted free throws while Conn drained an inside bucket. After Roth buried a 3-pointer to pull Lebo to within 43-40 with 1:48 to play, Coughlin scored a lay-up off the Blue Devils’ press. From there, USC sealed the game at the charity stripe. Conn and Joel Klein converted both ends of 1-and-1 situations in the final 20.9.
Conn led USC with 12 tallies. He knocked down a three that gave the Panthers a 30-25 edge. Klein and Grabowski followed with 11 points apiece and Coughlin supplied seven markers.
Max Li contributed seven points to Lebo loss. David and his brother, Jonny, each tossed in six points for the Blue Devils.
Before the WPIAL steering committee announces playoff pairings Feb. 12, USC will battle Chartiers Valley in a non-section game to complete regular season play on Feb. 11.
The Colts claimed the Section 5-AAA title with a win over South Fayette. CV finished 11-1 in that league. The Colts, like USC, is ranked No. 2 in their division.
In other action, Canon-McMillan clinched a playoff spot with its 62-49 victory over Peters Township. The Big Macs finished fourth in Section 4-AAAA with a 6-8 record. They are 10-12 overall.
The loss eliminated the Indians from playoff contention. They finished 5-9 in Section 4-AAAA.