February 10, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE —
The bounces were with the Bulldogs in what turned out to be an intense non-region battle between the Meadville and Central Tech boys basketball teams Saturday night at the House of Thrills.
Zak Price’s shot from the paint with 8.4 seconds left in the game bounced high off the rim twice before falling through the hoop, pushing Meadville in front by a point.
Then, with just over two ticks remaining, Central’s Deishaaron Gilmore was fouled and was granted two freebies and a chance to win the game. The first shot bounced off the rim. The second shot bounced off the rim.
The Falcons’ Francis Nosant got the rebound, but his put-back attempt was grazed by a Meadville defender and ricocheted off the front of the hoop.
Meadville had held on, 63-62, over a tough Class AAAA opponent.
The Bulldogs improved to 15-5 on the year. It was their fifth win in a row. Central, who had just beaten McDowell 87-77 the night before, slipped to 15-5.
Price ended up having a huge night for the Bulldogs. That game-winning bucket gave him 28 points and six assists for the evening. He knocked down seven 3-pointers total, many of which traveled from NBA range.
Price tallied 14 of the ’Dogs’ 20 points in the first quarter while hitting four treys. He later scored 11 points in the decisive fourth frame, making a pair of triples.
Trevor Clune added a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double. He also came up big in the fourth quarter, tallying nine points.
Malik Anderson followed with eight points. Jason Clune contributed six points, four rebounds and four blocks. Faizon McClure had four steals.
The two teams played evenly through the first half. It was tied 20-20 after one quarter. Price led the Bulldogs with his 14 points. Gilmore tallied 12 for the Falcons.
The score was then tied 32-32 at the break. Price hit his fifth trey in the quarter. Malik Anderson also had a big 3-pointer in the second.
Central then pulled ahead in the early part of the third quarter. Eugene Husband’s bank shot with four minutes left put the Falcons on top 40-36.
However, Meadville answered with seven straight points to finish the frame with a 43-40 lead. That run was capped when Jake Gregor snatched the ball away from the Falcons and took it across court for the layup.
Meadville held onto that lead for most of the fourth. Then with 26.4 seconds left, Tech’s Malik Brinson drained a 3-pointer from the wing to inch the Falcons in front 62-61.
The Falcons made four 3-pointers in the final period — two by Brinson and two by Kareem Ferguson.
Still, it wasn’t enough after Price’s will-it-or-won’t-it shot dropped in, and Gilmore’s foul shots bounced away.
Gilmore ended up leading Central with 23 points. Ferguson scored 12 points, hitting four treys on the night.
The Bulldogs now head into the final week of the regular season with a pair of big Region 5 games on the slate. They’ll travel to Grove City on Tuesday and then host Oil City on Friday. MASH downed Grove City 79-57 on Jan. 15, but lost to Oil City 62-52 three days later.