Bethel Park Triumphs Over Visiting Mt. Lebanon
by: Luke Hatfield, Hawk Eye
“It was an ugly game,” Bethel Park’s head coach Ben O’Connor said referring to the loss sustained at Mt. Lebanon January 18th. That game featured Bethel Park losing 34-32 to the Blue Devils, but this time the home team prevailed and it was Bethel Park winning 52-47 on Friday, Jan. 31.
The game started off hot for Mt. Lebannon when sophomore Eddie Jenkins made a game- opening three.
At one point, the Blue Devils were beating the Black Hawks 11-7, but a small flurry of baskets by Bethel Park ended the first quarter in a tie 14-14.
Eddie Jenkins and Jonny David led the surge for Mt. Lebannon in the first quarter, scoring all their points, but the x factors became the non factors for Mt. Lebanon in the second quarter as they would not score a single point, and Bethel Park made them pay.
With the aid of bench assistance, the Black Hawks outscored the Blue Devils 18-9 in the second quarter. Bench playing seniors Josh Krafczynski and RJ Pfeuffer made all the three pointers for Bethel Park in the first half as the Black Hawks would go into the locker room leading Mt. Lebanon with as many points as they had in their first meeting, 32.
After a Hall of Fame Alumni Induction at halftime, both teams started out with back-to-back three pointers, then the cold shooting came in. The once trifecta shooting superfluous matchup turned into a battle for the boards and second chance struggle.
Bethel Park would be outscored in the third quarter 13-10 due to cold shooting and staunch defense by Mt. Lebanon’s big men Patrick Ehland and Max Li.
With the score being 42-36 going into the fourth quarter, the game would hinge on free throw shooting as the fluency of the game turned into increase stoppage in play and fouls piling up on both sides.
Mt. Lebannon only shot 3-7 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and missed twice the first part of a one in one. Bethel Park would also miss a fair share of missed opportunities at the foul line and nearly cough up the lead.
Due to an amazing defensive stand by Bethel Park, namely center Jake Dixon’s blocking of Jonny David’s layup, and David going on to miss a game-tying three pointer with under a minute left, Bethel Park prevailed and won.
Top scorers for Bethel Park were Joey Mascaro with 12 points and Anthony Bomar with 11 points. Mt. Lebanon’s Jonny David would finish with 15 points and Matt Collins would finish with 10 points.
“We’re really proud of these guys; they are tough, gritty kids,” Bethel Park head coach Ben O’ Connor said. “To beat a quality section team, it feels good.”
With the win, the Black Hawks soar to 14-4 overall record with a 9-3 record in section play. This includes a four game winning streak, all against section opponents.
They will prepare for a game against another section opponent, Trinity, on Tuesday, Feb. 4.