Mt. Lebanon Wins First WPIAL Title In Nine Years
Mt. Lebanon knew what it took to defeat Butler. The Blue Devils did it early in the season in convincing fashion, 87-60.
The game plan for the rematch in the Class 6A WPIAL Championship Game at the Petersen Events Center was different, but the result was the same.
Mt. Lebanon got out to an early lead and held on later for a 62-57 win, giving them its first boys basketball title in nine years.
The Blue Devils led after every quarter, but the lead was trimmed to one, 47-46, entering the fourth quarter.
That’s when the victors elected to slow down the pace and keep the ball out of Butler’s hands. With long possessions and clutch play from junior Jake Hoffman and senior Sean Loughran, the Blue Devils were able to pull out the victory.
Loughran finished with 21 points and Hoffman had 19, including five 3-pointers. Senior Mike Palmer was also in double figures with 11 points.
For Butler, junior Ethan Morton led the team with 21 points. Freshman Devin Carney had 13 points and junior Luke Patten finished with 12.
Mt. Lebanon defense was a deciding factor, forcing 13 turnovers to its five.
Mt. Lebanon improves to 22-3 on the season and will face District 3 fifth-place team, Manheim Township in the first round of the PIAA playoffs on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Peters Township.
Butler falls to 20-5 on the season. The Golden Tornado will face District 3 fourth-place team, Chambersburg in the first round of the PIAA playoffs on Saturday at 4:30 at Canon-McMillan.