Plymouth-Whitemarsh derails Mt. Lebanon in Class 6A state title game
Saturday, March 26, 2022 | 7:24 PM
HERSHEY – Mt. Lebanon fell in the PIAA Class 6A girls basketball championship game 60-40 to Plymouth-Whitemarsh at the Giant Center on Saturday evening.
“Obviously, (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) is undefeated for a reason,” Mt. Lebanon coach Dori Oldtaker said. “They played very well tonight and they shot well.”
The Blue Devils (27-2) got back-to-back 3-pointers from Brooke Collins in the first quarter to tie the score 7-7, but after that, the Colonials kept them from finding an offensive rhythm again until the game was out of hand.
Through three quarters, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (31-0) held Mt. Lebanon to 17% shooting, 6 for 35 to be precise. Meanwhile, the Colonials found their rhythm to take a 41-17 lead after three periods.
That advantage ballooned to 56-28 midway through the fourth period.
In the second half, the Colonials were 13 for 16 from the floor, making any comeback impossible. Abby Sharpe, who averaged 13.9 points per game this season, finished with a game-high 26. Erin Daley added 17.
Collins and Ashleigh Connor started to pick up some late hoops to narrow the margin, but that difference never got under 15 in the second half.
After being held to seven, four and six points in the first three quarters, the Blue Devils did score 23 points in the fourth period. In the last eight minutes, they found some measure to their shots with a 9-for-17 performance.
But Mt. Lebanon could not overcome a 7-for-28 showing beyond the arc and a 3-for-7 performance at the free throw line. Plymouth-Whitemarsh was 5 for 9 and 9 for 12 in those categories.
Collins led the Blue Devils with 17 points. Connor, another senior, finished with 12. The only other upperclassman, Reagan Murdoch, had three points.
“It was hard to see those guys crying in the locker room after how they’ve grown in four years in the program,” Oldtaker said.
Despite their difficulties on offense, the Blue Devils actually scored more points than any of the Colonials’ other four state tournament opponents. Plymouth-Whitemarsh was averaging 32 points allowed per game since PIAAs began.
“We might not go home happy, we might go home disappointed, but we’re going to celebrate this season,” Oldtaker said.
Mt. Lebanon did find some success with its traps throughout the game, winning the turnover battle 12-3. Collins had four steals. But the takeaways rarely turned into scoring chances.
Plymouth-Whitemarsh also had the advantage inside, grabbing 36 rebounds to 19 for Mt. Lebanon. Daley led all players with 12 boards. Connor had eight for the Blue Devils.
Matching up with the 6-foot Daley and 5-11 Sharpe, both taller than anyone on Mt. Lebanon’s roster, was not an issue that was new to the Blue Devils. Oldtaker said that both Easton and Central Dauphin, their quarterfinal and semifinal opponents, also had size advantages.
Tags: Mt. lebanon
More Basketball• Trib HSSN 2023-24 WPIAL Class A boys basketball preseason breakdown
• Starting 5: A primer for 2023-24 girls basketball season in Westmoreland County
• Starting 5: A primer for 2023-24 boys basketball season in Westmoreland County
• Trib HSSN 2023-24 WPIAL Class 2A girls basketball preseason breakdown
• Trib HSSN 2023-24 WPIAL Class 3A boys basketball preseason breakdown