OIL CITY — After opening the season with two impressive wins to claim the Brentwood Tournament championship last weekend, Meadville felt the pain of its biggest concern this season Friday night against Oil City.
Lack of size.
Getting beat up on the boards by the Oilers, the undersized Bulldogs opened Region 6 acton on a sour note with a 62-54 loss — dropping their overall record to 2-1.
Without a starting player taller than 6-foot-1, the Bulldogs will attempt to utilize their quickness and outside shooting to beat opponents this season. In the Brentwood Tournament, no problem.
Runnin-and-gunnin, the MASH attack outgunned South Park (75-73) and Carrick (87-84) to capture the tournament championship.
Against Oil City, a different story.
For the most part against the Oilers, the Bulldogs weren’t able to get into their fast-break mode. Their shooting was off, too — hitting on only 23-of-68 shots from the floor (33 percent).
The boards were the Bulldogs’ main downfall. With the high-flying 6-2 Dallas Williams dominating action underneath, Oil City outrebounded MASH, 46-20. Williams pulled down a game-high 21 rebounds to go with 17 points.
Oil City’s dominance on the glass wasn’t more obvious than in the second quarter.
Scoring on four offensive rebounds, the Oilers took control of the game by outscoring the Bulldogs, 16-11 to take a 30-22 halftime lead. OCHS outrebounded MASH, 16-1 in the second stanza.
After Oil City increased its lead to 41-27 with a 9-0 run early in the third quarter, Meadville coach Norm Price called timeout. The Bulldogs’ boss pushed the right buttons.
Basically putting his teammates on his back, senior guard Ray Hamilton rallied his troops. Aggressively driving to the hoop, Hamilton scored 10 of the Bulldogs’ next 15 points as the ’Dogs cut Oil City’s lead to 45-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, Hamilton & Co. didn’t get any closer.
Leading 52-48, Oil City held Meadville scoreless for nearly two minutes midway through the final quarter and increased its lead to 57-48 with 1:37 remaining on the clock.
Hamilton tossed in a game-high 22 points and sophomore Artrel Foster also hit double figures with 12.
Nate Davis led Oil City with 18 and Jeff Zimoski netted 10.
The Bulldogs will return to action Tuesday against Rocky Grove at the House of Thrills.