‘Magic’ Miles Halter lifts Mt. Lebanon to back-to-back WPIAL Class 3A boys lacrosse titles

Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 11:46 PM

Miles Halter broke his stick in the first quarter, so he had to borrow one from Mt. Lebanon assistant coach Connor Brumfield.

He certainly didn’t have any problem adjusting to the new equipment and went on to score six goals.

“I guess that stick was magic,” Halter said.

Halter was dominant in helping the Blue Devils win a second consecutive WPIAL Class 3A boys lacrosse title in a 15-10 victory over North Allegheny on Thursday night at Robert Morris’ Joe Walton Stadium.

“It’s awesome,” said Halter, who is a Loyola (Md.) recruit. “This has been our plan for a while, and this isn’t the end. We’re excited to go to states now.”

The win made it double gold for Mt. Lebanon on Thursday as the girls team defeated Pine-Richland, 16-11, earlier in the evening.

An early second half goal by Nicholas Sichak cut the Mt. Lebanon lead to one, but Fred Lasota, Joey Hetz and Halter scored on consecutive possessions for the Blue Devils to make it 10-6.

Mt. Lebanon led 11-7 after three quarters.

Evan Lyon scored to cut the lead to 12-10 with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth, but Keegan Green, Jack Estabrook and Halter had consecutive tallies that put the game out of reach.

“Last year against Shady Side went down to the wire, so this was a lot less stressful this year,” Halter said.

Another key for Mt. Lebanon in the win was keeping North Allegheny off the board when they were a man down.

The Tigers went 0-for-7 in man-up opportunities. In contrast, Mt. Lebanon converted four of its six chances.

Blue Devils coach Mike Ermer credited a strong team bond with helping them get through those tense moments.

“We do a team vote every year for offensive MVP, defensive MVP, unsung hero and team MVP, and for team MVP, we had 11 different guys that received votes,” Ermer said. “That’s more guys than are on the field at one time. We ended up not having a team MVP this year. Those guys voting that way shows how much of a team effort this was this year.”

North Allegheny upset top-seeded Shady Side Academy in the semifinals to get into the championship game. The Tigers got an early 2-0 lead and stayed close with the Blue Devils into the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell short.

“We had a good run,” North Allegheny coach John Rullan said. “We won 12 or 13 in a row, and beating Shady Side was a big positive, but all year we were planning on winning this. At North Allegheny, that’s what you’re expected to do, but we came up a little short. They were a little better than we were tonight, but I can’t say anything bad about either team. It was a good game.”

Sichak and Lyon registered a hat trick each for the Tigers.

Sullivan Kish, Lasota and Jack Estabrook scored twice each for the Blue Devils.

Both teams advance to the state tournament.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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