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Mt. Lebanon Completes Comeback To Beat Baldwin 50-49



WHITEHALL, Pa. — Dating back to last season, the matchups between the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils and the Baldwin Highlanders have been intense, to say the least.

Just a few weeks ago, Mt. Lebanon beat Baldwin in a low-scoring, one-possession affair. On Tuesday night, the second meeting between the two teams went down to the wire again as the Blue Devils managed to escape with a dramatic 50-49 victory.

After Mt. Lebanon’s Riley Farabaugh sank the Blue Devil’s first shot of the game to jump out to a 3-0 lead, Baldwin proceeded to go on a 14-1 run. The Highlanders managed to play a stifling defense in the first half that limited the Blue Devils to just one converted three-pointer.

At the half, Mt. Lebanon found themselves losing 26-20 due to little success shooting the ball anywhere outside of the paint. The Highlanders’ energetic crowd probably had something to do with that.

With longtime WPIAL coach Joe David at the helm, the Blue Devils are a disciplined and confident group that will find a way back into any game.

“Coach [David] is awesome, especially in these games where it is close. He helps us through, hold us down, tells us to take a breath, and then we are good,” senior Tanner Donati told PSN after the game.

The Blue Devils fought and clawed their way back in this one, sending it to the fourth quarter tied 36-36.

After a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the real drama came within the final second of the game as the Blue Devils – leading by two – committed a foul that sent Baldwin to the free-throw line for a one-and-one, and the chance to send the game to overtime.

Baldwin’s Nathan Richards knocked down the first half of the one-and-one but missed the second. The missed free throw ended the game and completed the second-half comeback for the Blue Devils.

“They always play good here. I can’t remember the last time I won a game here, so it always feels good to win here,” said Donati.

The Blue Devils do not have a “go-to scorer,” but that is something that the team embraces. In this game, the Blue Devils used five different scorers to record the team’s first 10 points. Seven different players scored at least 4 points in the matchup. Tanner Donati finished with a team-high 14 points. Nathaniel Girod and Michael Pfeuffer finished with 8 points each.

“We’re not a selfish team. No one is forcing shots. Everyone is passing the ball. We just want to win. That is all that matters,” said Doanti.

With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 6-0 in section play and claim control of their own destiny in regard to winning a sixth-straight section title.

“It feels good to go to 6-0, especially against Baldwin,” said Donati. “We just need to stay locked in for practice and just keep working hard.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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