Upper St. Clair took the lead early in the fourth quarter, then protected it by making 16 of 22 free throws in the final eight minutes to defeat host Canon-McMillan 58-45 in a Section 4-AAAA boys basketball game Sunday afternoon.
The win pushes section leader USC (11-1, 16-3) two games ahead of second-place Mt. Lebanon, and drops Canon-McMillan (5-7, 8-10) into a three-way tie for fourth place -- and the final playoff spot -- with Peters Township and Moon.
USC led 23-16 at halftime, but C-M outscored the Panthers 16-7 in the third quarter to take a 32-30 lead.
Jordan Grabowski and J.J. Conn each scored 15 points for USC, which made 20 of 28 free throws in the game. Connor Gallagher added 12 points and John Duffy had 11 for the Panthers, who have won 13 in a row.
Brett Haney scored 17 points and was the only player in double figures for Canon-Mac, which was held to only 13 field goals.