By Pete Chiodo
February 15, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE —
It wasn’t quite the send-off Meadville’s first-year head girls basketball coach Casey Heller had in mind for her four seniors, as the Lady Bulldogs fell to Oil City 52-44 in the final game of the season, Thursday at the House of Thrills.
The Lady ’Dogs end the 2012-13 campaign with a record of 5-17 overall and 3-9 in Region 5.
Finishing their careers with the team were seniors Esra Daghestani, Katie DeWalt, Shauntia Vactor-Pope and Franki Mullen.
“We’ll definitely miss them,” said Heller. “But they’re moving on to better things. I think that they, overall, had a good experience with the program. And I think they’ll always remember us.”
Oil City finishes up 10-12 on the year and 3-9 in the region.
Meadville seemed to have the Oilers right where it wanted them, leading 37-34 after three quarters of play.
This followed a back-and-forth first half. Oil City led 14-6 after the first quarter, but Meadville outscored the Oilers 15-4 in the second to lead 21-18 at halftime.
The wheels fell off in the fourth, however, as Oil City outscored the Bulldogs 17-2 over the first four and a half minutes.
“That’s the best run we’ve had all year,” said Oil City head coach Paul Flickner.
He credits his team’s defensive effort — which netted eight turnovers in the fourth — with getting things rolling.
“I thought our trap, our 1-2-2 trap, sort of turned the tide in the third and fourth quarter,” said Flickner. “We got some steals off that. And our kids were really patient with the ball.”
OC’s Riley Davis keyed the run offensively, starting off the frame by going 6-for-6 from the foul line, which turned Meadville 37-34 lead into a 40-37 advantage for the Oilers.
Davis was 8-for-8 from the line and scored 12 points in the fourth. And she finished the game 14-for-15 from the line with 24 total points.
She also added 13 rebounds for the double-double, even while sitting most of the second quarter with foul issues.
“She played a tough game after being in foul trouble in the first half,” said Flickner. “That was a big game for her. And we needed that from her. We needed those boards.”
Davis’ performance even eclipsed the 29 points scored by Vactor-Pope for the Bulldogs.
Vactor-Pope had a solid game offensively, bucketing four 3-pointers, one in each quarter. And she was the only Bulldog to score in the fourth, recording each of the team’s seven points during the final eight minutes.
That wasn’t enough to catch the Oilers.
Marcadi McCoy followed with five points for Meadville.
Other top scorers for Oil City were Weslee Clyde with eight points. Carly Wenner and Sarah McCauley both scored seven.