Upper St. Clair takes down Mt. Lebanon, 53-48

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Upper St. Clair hit clutch free throws down the stretch and was able to hang on to defeat section rival Mt. Lebanon, 53-48, on Tuesday night. It was Mt. Lebanon’s first section loss of the season.

Upper St. Clair jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but Mt. Lebanon fought back to only trail by four at the end of a quarter, 18-14. Mt. Lebanon controlled the second quarter, but Upper St. Clair still led 28-25 at the half.

A huge Mt. Lebanon third quarter gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game in the final minute of the third quarter and led 38-36 heading into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Upper St. Clair’s Luke Gensler took over, scoring 10 of his 19 points in the final frame and hit some big free throws down the stretch to lead the Panthers to a 53-48 win.

Gensler was the PlayerPager Player of the Game. David Pantelis added 11 points and was a huge factor on the defensive end of the floor with five steals.

Jake Hoffman led Mt. Lebanon with 15 points. Joey King and Blaine Gartley each contributed 13 points.

Upper St. Clair improves to 8-2 in Section 2-6A and 18-3 overall. The Panthers are locked into finishing second in the section but could still get a first-round bye in the WPIAL playoffs. Up next for Upper St. Clair is the top ranked team in 6A, Fox Chapel (19-0) on the road Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Mt. Lebanon finishes section play with a 9-1 record and 15-4 overall. The Blue Devils have already clinched the outright section title. The Blue Devils head to Allderdice, one of the top teams in the City League, Friday night at 7:30 p.m.