Mt. Lebanon girls win another WPIAL title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Mt. Lebanon girls basketball team found the title it left here last March.
In the process, Oakland Catholic's Bobbi Baker nearly gave the Blue Devils something else to keep track of next year.
One season after getting upset by Shaler, No. 2 seed Mt. Lebanon built a 16-point first-half lead, squandered it, then recovered down the stretch to upset top-seeded Oakland Catholic, 58-49, on Friday night at Palumbo Center.
Baker scored a game-high 25 points, but they weren't enough to keep the Blue Devils (23-3) from claiming their third WPIAL Class AAAA title in four years.
"Our coaches told us and we all thought there was unfinished business," said junior Jordan Holmes, who finished with six points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots. "We didn't want to leave here without a gold medal around our necks."
Baker nearly changed that. After a reporter answered her how many points Baker finished with, Blue Devils coach Dori Oldaker quipped, "It felt like 36."
"She's a tough kid," Oldaker added. "We had Liz (Tommasi) on her, and I'm proud of Liz. But I would have liked to have contained Bobbi a little bit more."
Sophomore Christine Ehland led Mt. Lebanon with 16 points. Senior Kelly Johnson had 12, and classmate Liz Tommasi added 10.
Next Friday, Mt. Lebanon will play Pine-Richland -- the fifth-place team from the WPIAL -- or the runner-up from District 6 in the first round of the PIAA tournament. Oakland Catholic will play the District 6 or District 9 champion the same night.
Mt. Lebanon jumped to a 20-6 advantage after the first quarter, getting eight points from Ehland. The Blue Devils stretched that to 26-11 on a pair of free throws from Emma Pellicano with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left before halftime, but Oakland Catholic scored eight of the next 12 points and trailed, 32-21, at halftime.
"They're a very experienced, WPIAL championship-winning team," Oakland Catholic coach Shannon Boyle said. "For our players, this was our first time here, and I think maybe they were a little bit nervous and overwhelmed by everything."
Mt. Lebanon's largest lead came after Ehland's putback 22 seconds into the second quarter, which gave it a 16-point edge. But the Eagles would not go away.
"At times we started panicking and turned the ball over," said Oldaker, whose team committed 18 turnovers, nine in each half. "I thought we needed to settle down, be stronger with the ball. They kept taking the ball off of us."
Oakland Catholic (24-2) chipped away in the second half by outscoring Mt. Lebanon, 16-9, in the third quarter and trailed by four entering the fourth. Oakland Catholic took its first lead at 47-45 with 5:09 left when Corey Taglianetti made a 3-pointer from the left corner, but Johnson's free throw at 2:50 gave the Blue Devils the lead for good.
"I'm not going to lie: It was kind of scary," Holmes said. "We just tried to calm down and play the game how we know how to play."Additional Information:
Since 1999, Oakland Catholic and Mt. Lebanon have been two of the WPIAL's top Class AAAA girls basketball programs. The Eagles have won six titles, and Mt. Lebanon has three:
» 1999-2002: Oakland Catholic
» 2003: Upper St. Clair
» 2004: New Castle
» 2005-06: Oakland Catholic
» 2007: New Castle
» 2008: Upper St. Clair
» 2009-10: Mt. Lebanon
» 2011: Shaler
» 2012: Mt. Lebanon
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Reports say 1 dead at Fort Meade gate crashing
- Owner of Penn Hills tombstone business pleads guilty to swindling the bereaved
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- LaBar: WrestleMania 31 one of the best ever
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Trevor Noah set to replace Stewart on ‘Daily Show’
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense