FAIRVIEW — Meadville begins a run of three straight Region 7 games on the road next week with trips to McDowell, Kennedy Catholic and Cathedral Prep upcoming. The Bulldogs got a good look at what’s to come with a tough game against Region 4 leader Fairview on Thursday night.
Fairview freshman James Sitter was lethal from beyond the arc and his eight 3-pointers propelled Fairview to a 64-45 non-region win over Meadville at Fairview High School.
“It’s the kind of team we’re going to see from this point forward,” said Meadville head coach Mark McElhinny. “They’re a possession team and we let them play possession basketball with the lead. They pass the ball well and they shoot the ball well and they dictated the game to us.”
Fairview improved to 10-1 overall and Meadville falls to 10-2 on the year.
“It’s a quality win against a really good team. I think we have some things to work out, but it’s a ‘Where are we’ game,” said Fairview head coach Patrick Flaherty.
Sitter got going right out of the gate for Fairview, he hit two 3-pointers in a row to push Fairview out front 10-7.
Later, with the Tigers up 12-9, Sitter’s teammates found him again at the arc and he dropped in another one.
“It was just my teammates moving the ball to me, getting me wide open shots,” said Sitter. “It’s all about confidence.”
After starting the game 1 of 7, Davyon Butler found the range with a trey halfway through the second quarter to cut into the Tigers’ lead to 18-12.
Butler then drove the lane and earned an and-1 to bring Meadville within 18-15.
“I thought we did a good job on Butler. He’s a phenomenal player,” said Flaherty. “I thought we did as good as we could on him.”
The Tigers responded with a 9-2 run to close the half up 27-17. Matt Franos and Dylan DaBreo got baskets inside while Sitter knocked down another triple for five treys in the first half alone.
“I think we’re sharing the ball and we’re taking good rhythm shots,” added Flaherty. “James (Sitter) shot it well tonight.”
Meadville tried to claw back into the game and forced three turnovers early in the third. The only problem was that Fairview was still hitting its shots. Sitter and Franos both buried treys and Phillip Thiem scored inside to put the Tigers up 35-23.
Reese Pero buried a contested 3-pointer off a dish from Charlie Waid. Butler followed with a triple of his own to cut it to 35-29. That would be the closest Meadville would get.
Harry Murphey ended the run with a trey and Sitter added his seventh 3-pointer of the game to keep Meadville at bay, down 45-34 going to the fourth.
“(Sitter) killed us,” said McElhinny. “He was firing from the 3-point line and we didn’t get him slowed down.”
In the final quarter, Fairview slowed the pace down and took smart shots. The reward was that they only missed one shot in the quarter. DaBreo hit four baskets inside to bring his total to 19 points and the Tigers pulled away from the ‘Dogs.
“We have the utmost respect for Meadville and how good they are so we look at that as a really good win for us,” said Flaherty. “We’ve just got to keep focusing on getting better.”
Sitter led all scorers off his eight treys with 24 points.
“This is giant, especially against a good team like Meadville,” added Sitter. “It’ll just boost our confidence. But we have to stay down to earth and keep on going.”
For Meadville, Butler led the way with 18 points. Husband added 11 while Pero scored seven.
Meadville returns to action Tuesday night as the Bulldogs open Region 7 play at McDowell.