When Upper St. Clair defeated Baldwin for the WPIAL Class 6A championship, the Panthers led for nearly the entire game.

That was anything but the case Saturday for Upper St. Clair in its PIAA opener, so the Panthers decided to instead use a big comeback to grab a win.

Upper St. Clair rallied from 17 points down to defeat visiting Central Dauphin, 57-53, in a first-round game.

It was the eighth win in a row for Upper St. Clair (21-5), which won a PIAA game for the first time since reaching the semifinals in 2021. Central Dauphin, the seventh-place qualifier out of District 3, finished the season 18-9.

Central Dauphin jumped to a 16-3 first-quarter lead against Upper St. Clair and led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter before the Panthers closed the gap to 29-19 at the half. The Panthers then outscored Central Dauphin, 14-7, in the third quarter and 24-17 in the fourth.

Upper St. Clair, which lost in the first round a season ago, got strong performances from its two seniors, with Christian Ito tallying a team-high 17 points and Brett Meinert adding 15. Junior Tyler Robbins chipped in with 13 points.

Central Dauphin was led by Wayne Fletcher’s 17 points and Jelani Easter added 15.

Other Class 6A

• In three overtimes, WPIAL third-place qualifier Mt. Lebanon (20-6) was eliminated by host and District 6 champion State College (13-12), 65-58. The score was tied, 42-42, at the end of regulation. State College held a 12-5 edge in the final overtime. Nate Girod made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points for Mt. Lebanon, which was seeking its first PIAA win since 2020.

• Tyler Grove’s 27 points helped District 10 champion McDowell (21-5) go on the road and take down WPIAL runner-up Baldwin (18-8), 61-45. McDowell held just a 29-26 halftime lead before outscoring Baldwin 32-19 in the second half. Nate Wesling scored a team-high 17 points for the Highlanders, who last secured a PIAA win in 1985.

Class 3A

• Jay Wrona scored a game-high 21 points and WPIAL third-place qualifier Mohawk (18-8) won a PIAA game for the first time in 54 years by defeating host and District 9 champion Moniteau (13-12), 56-42. Bobby Fadden chipped in 13 points for the Warriors, whose most-recent PIAA win had come in the 1970 Class 2A semifinals.

• Wayne Love’s 21 points led a quartet of players scoring in double-figure scoring for WPIAL champion Deer Lakes (22-4), which began its pursuit of reaching the final in consecutive seasons by earning a 71-64 home win against District 10 third-place qualifier Mercyhurst Prep (17-9). Nate Moore added 17 points, Aiden Fletcher 15 and Billy Schaeffer 12.

• Looking for its first PIAA win, WPIAL runner-up Burrell (16-10) coughed up a 12-point lead in a 62-51 home loss to District 6 third-place finisher Bishop Guilfoyle (23-5). Jude Haigh scored 20 points for Bishop Guilfoyle, which outscored Burrell, 23-12, in the final quarter. Macky Bennis scored 15 points for Burrell, which fell to 0-6 all time in PIAA first-round games.

• Joseph Roth’s 31 points, 17 rebounds and 7 assists propelled WPIAL seventh-place finisher Ellwood City (18-9) into the second round for the second time in three seasons following a 62-44 win at District 6 champion Westmont Hilltop (20-6). Ellwood City trailed, 32-29, at the half before surging ahead behind an 18-6 scoring advantage in the third quarter.

Neshannock (20-6), the WPIAL fourth-place finisher, fell behind by 10 points after one quarter and could never recover as it saw its season end with a 69-55 loss at District 10 runner-up Franklin (20-6). Franklin led, 57-31, after three quarters. David Kwiat scored 12 points and Matt Sopko had 11 for Neshannock, which, like Franklin, was a quarterfinalist in 2023.

Class 2A

• WPIAL champion Aliquippa (22-5) rolled to a PIAA win against District 9 third-place finisher Otto-Eldred (25-3) for the second year in a row, 56-27. The Quips beat Otto-Eldred, 56-28, in last season’s semifinals. Cameron Lindsey scored a team-best 13 points for the Quips, a finalist the last two seasons who have won 12 of their last 13 games.

• Isaiah Mallich’s team-high 14 points vaulted WPIAL sixth-place finisher Jeannette (17-8) to its first PIAA win since 2018 courtesy of a 58-32 triumph at District 10 champion Iroquois (14-12). Kymon’e Brown and Marcus McGowen added 11 points apiece for Jeannette, which led, 40-11, at the half. The Jayhawks will meet rival Greensburg Central Catholic in the second round.

• Tyree Turner pumped in 25 points to lead WPIAL runner-up Greensburg Central Catholic (24-3) to a 57-42 home victory against District 5 runner-up Windber (16-10). The Centurions led, 25-13, at the half. Franco Alvarez chipped in 14 points for the Centurions, who lost in the first round a season ago. They have won 15 of their past 16 games.

• Pete Burke poured in 29 points and Isiah Petty added 24 as Serra Catholic (18-9), the seventh-place qualifier out of the WPIAL, won at District 6 champion West Branch (23-4), 75-67. Serra trailed, 23-17, after one quarter before rallying to take a 43-40 halftime advantage. The Eagles will meet Fort Cherry in the second round.

Baldwin’s Matthew Schenk and McDowell’s Kamden Kramer battle for the ball in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament Saturday at Baldwin High School. Baldwin lost, 61-45. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)


Class 6A

McDowell 61, Baldwin 45

State College 65, Mt. Lebanon 58 (3 OT)

Upper St. Clair 57, Central Dauphin 53

Class 3A

Bishop Guilfoyle 62, Burrell 51

Chestnut Ridge 70, Shady Side Academy 53

Deer Lakes 71, Mercyhurst Prep 64

Ellwood City 62, Westmont Hilltop 44

Franklin 69, Neshannock 55

Girard 74, Derry 65

Mohawk 56, Moniteau 42

Class 2A

Aliquippa 56, Otto-Eldred 27

Conemaugh Township 55, Bishop Canevin 47

Fort Cherry 61, Karns City 52

Greensburg Central Catholic 57, Windber 42

Jeannette 58, Iroquois 32

Redbank Valley 66, Northgate 62 (OT)

Serra Catholic 75, West Branch 67

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.