Meadville took its first — and somewhat painful — step to the future Friday night.

Playing three freshmen during the course of the game, the youth-laden Bulldogs dropped a 72-57 decision to North Clarion in the opening round of the Seventh Annual Sertoma Tip-Off Classic at the House of Thrills.

The Bulldogs will play Johnstown — a 74-66 loser to Erie East — tonight in the consolation game at 6:30. EE and North Clarion will square off in the championship game at 8 p.m.

With three talented freshmen (Artrel Foster, Zak Price and Donte Hollingsworth) on the roster, Meadville coach Norm Price realized the future looks bright and played the trio valuable minutes against North Clarion.

Price’s gut feeling, however, heading into the NC clash materialized: MASH’s inexperience showed against the experienced NC squad.

The Bulldogs fell behind early, 10-6 and weren’t able to catch up as North Clarion rode junior guard Jeremy Schmader’s superior skills. The sharp-shooting guard poured in a game-high 35 points.

Meadville’s two returning starters from last season — junior Ray Hamilton and senior Adam Barba — had strong games with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Barba also pulled down a team-high 15 rebounds.



NORTH CLARION (72)

Bobak 4 0-0 9, Tyler Miller 0 0-0 0, Weaver 3 2-6 9, Hargenrader 4 3-5 11, Jer. Schmader 13 7-7 35, Mannerino 1 0-0 2, Weaver 2 0-0 6, Jus. Schmader 0 0-2 0. Totals 27 12-20 72.

MEADVILLE (57)

Barba 8 1-3 17, Hamilton 8 3-7 19, Gregor 2 1-1 5, Newsome 0 0-0 0, Price 1 1-2 4, Hillingsworth 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 8-15 57.

North Clarion 14 15 22 21 — 72

Meadville 8 15 18 16 — 57

3-pt. goals: NC — Weaver 2, Jer. Schmader 2, Weaver, Bobak; M —Gregor.

Records: North Clarion 1-0; Meadville 0-1.







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