Dog-gone foul trouble.
Playing without Jason Clune and Jake Gregor good portions of the second half due to foul trouble, Meadville dropped a 69-59 decision to Seneca on Friday night in the opening round of the annual Sertoma Holiday Basketball Tournament at the House of Thrills.
The Bulldogs (2-5) will play Cochranton — which suffered a 58-54 loss to St. Francis Catholic of Canada — tonight at 6 in the consolation game. Seneca (4-2) faces St. Francis for the tournament championship at 7:30 p.m.
Continuing its trend of nip-and-tuck games, the MASH unit had a legitimate excuse for swallowing another tough loss.
Trailing 32-29 with 7:27 left in the third quarter, Clune — who scored seven early points to give the Bulldogs a 16-9 lead — was called for his third personal foul and MASH coach Mark McElhinny elected to sit him for the remainder of the quarter.
McElhinny found some positives with his leading gun Clune sitting on the bench.
Establishing himself as MASH’s go-to player, Gregor scored on consecutive layups and perfectly set up Armoni Foster for a 3-pointer to give the ’Dogs a 40-34 lead with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter.
Enter the whistle again.
Clinging to a 44-39 lead, Gregor picked up his fourth personal foul with 1:59 showing in the third quarter and McElhinny had no choice but to sit him too.
Seneca jumped on the Clune/Gregor-less Bulldogs.
The Bobcats’ Gus Johnson went inside and scored twice to cut MASH’s lead to 44-43 heading into the final period.
McElhinny inserted both Clune and Gregor back into the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter and the duo made an immediate impact as Gregor fed Clune with a razor-sharp pass and the sophomore sensation completed a three-point play to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 47-43 with 7:27 left in the game.
After Seneca scored six straight points to take a 49-47 lead, Clune — getting a friendly bounce from the rim — popped in a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Bulldogs a 50-49 lead with 6:01 showing on the clock.
Enter the dog-gone whistle again.
Driving to the hoop, Gregor — who was having a solid all-around game — was called for his fifth personal foul with 5:28 left in the game. The versatile Gregor finished with 11 points, four assists and three steals.
The Bulldogs felt the loss of Gregor.
Completely taking over the game, Seneca’s Jarrett Pound — who transferred from Cathedral Prep — scored nine straight points to give the Bobcats a 58-53 lead with 2:38 left in the game.
The smooth-shooting Pound — who threw down a dunk in the first half — finished with a game-high 31 points.
McElhinny was well aware of Pound’s elite skills heading into the game.
“We saw him play and we knew what to expect,” said the Bulldogs’ first-year coach. “He is an exceptional player.”
The ’Dogs never recovered from Pound’s stomping.
Obviously, McElhinny touched on the Bulldogs’ foul trouble first thing afterwards, “We need to play smarter ball early. I had to keep an eye on Jason, Jake and even Faizon (McClure) throughout the game.”
Concluding, the MASH boss looked at the bigger picture, “I told the kids afterwards that they have to realize this a Christmas tournament. We need to stay together during this break and our main goal is to be ready to play when the league starts up.”
Despite the foul problems, Clune had another strong game with a team-high 24 points. He was 4-for-8 from 3-point range.
Dog-gone foul trouble.
District 1 girls enjoy day off
It was a tense day for many of the teams participating in the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Wednesday.
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Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.
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Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
“Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.
Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback
The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.
District 1 dominates at East Regional
Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.
Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time
With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.
Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal
There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.
Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise
Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.
Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske
Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.
District 1 looking forward to bigger goals
The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.
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