CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Meadville’s offense has shown several signs of improvement this season. On Tuesday, however, that progression took a giant step backward.

The Lady Bulldogs shot a paltry 8-of-54 from the field and were just 4-of-12 from the free throw line as they fell to General McLane, 40-21, in the first round of the Cambridge Springs Holiday Tournament.

The loss is Meadville’s second straight after starting the season at 8-0.

“I told the kids, ‘It’s very hard not to get down after this game, but we played them. And we played them pretty well,’” MASH coach Dean Henderson said. “We just couldn’t buy a basket.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs were as solid as ever.

They held the Lancers, who improved to 8-1 on the year, to under 55 points for just the second time this season. General McLane came into the contest averaging 56.9 points per game.

Meadville just couldn’t respond with a similar effort on offense even when the greatest of opportunities presented themselves. It was just one of those nights.

“No one was on tonight,” Henderson said. “We were getting good looks at the basket; our shots were there. But no one was on.

“Normally you have one person who is cold. (Tuesday) we had eight people that were cold. It was just one of those nights when everything was off.”

Unfortunately for Meadville, that night came at a bad time, against a team whose lone loss came via one-point to Class AAAA power Erie Central.

“This is one of the best Triple-A teams in District 10,” Henderson said of the Lancers. “They’ll be in the playoffs and they’ll make some noise. They’re all athletic girls; they all can shoot. They’re a very good team.”

General McLane took control of the game early, jumping out to a 10-0 lead with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter. Meadville’s only points in the quarter came at 1:16 and :37, respectively, on free throws by Jackie DeRemer to cut its deficit to eight going into the second quarter.

Meadville was 0-for-11 in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs came back to outscore the Lancers, 7-6, in the second period. The shooting woes continued throughout, however, and Meadville wasn’t able to mount a comeback despite forcing 31 turnovers for the game.

Much of that had to do with the success of Tori Hansen and Kelsey Conklin. Hansen finished with a game-high 12 points and was very instrumental on defense. Conklin, meanwhile, added nine points and had 15 rebounds.

“I think they did a fantastic job with the scrappy defense (Tuesday),” McLane coach Meghan Meabon said. “It got out of control at times, but we were able to calm ourselves down.”

“It was just a hard-fought win,” Meabon added. “All 11 girls contributed. I credit the game to all 11 girls. They kept us with fresh legs and that helped us in the long run. This was a good win.”

For the Bulldogs, Casey Heller led the way with seven points. DeRemer, who led Meadville with 10 rebounds, had five points as did Ivy Deegan. Deegan also added seven rebounds. Leah Hardin had six boards.

“I saw some positive things,” Henderson said. “I thought Leah had a heck of a game. She hustled after everything. She got up and down the court. I thought she played very well. I thought she really gave it everything she had out there and that was good to see.”

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