The Meadville boys basketball team lost to Hickory 68-54 on Tuesday night at the House of Thrills. 

It was the second time this season the two teams competed against each other with the first match up occurring just two games prior for Meadville. Hickory also won the first match up 79-51 on December 28 in the Farrell Tournament championship game.

According to Meadville head coach Mark McElhinny, the first match up against Hickory better prepared his team for Tuesday as Meadville kept the game at a much closer margin this time.

“I though we played a little tougher tonight,” McElhinny said. “We played with more physicality tonight and we were able to hang in the game. We had our chance in the fourth quarter there, but we just let it slip away again.” 

Hickory opened the game with a 17-13 lead after the first quarter, thanks in part to Aidan Enoch and Tyson Djakovich, who connected on a combined five three-pointers in the game’s first eight minutes. The Hornets slightly extended their lead to 30-23 going into locker room. 

The Hornets then took control of the game in the third quarter and outscored the Bulldogs by seven to go up 49-35 heading into the final frame.

However, the Bulldogs didn’t go down without a fight. A lay in and a three-pointer by Lucas Luteran on back-to-back possessions cut the deficit to 51-42. Jack Burchard then made a lay in off a steal to trimmed the Hornet’s lead to seven. Two free throws by Kellen Ball pulled the Bulldogs within five. That was as close the Bulldogs got in the fourth quarter as the Hornets outscored them 17-6 the rest of the way.

“We gave them a lot of second chance opportunities and they knocked down shots they needed to,” McElhinny said.

The Hornets connected on a total of 10 shots from beyond the arc with Enoch hitting five of them. Enoch finished with a game-high 22 points. Djakovich made four three-pointers while Chris Evangelista had one for the Hornets. Djakovich and Jackson Pryts each finished with 12 points. Joe Fazzone added 16 points.

The Bulldogs also made some threes in Tuesday’s contest, finishing with a total of nine. Luteran and Dante Miceli each made three shots from beyond the arc. Burchard had a pair of threes while Khalon Simmons had one. Simmons (14), Luteran (13) and Burchard (12) all posted in double figures. Miceli finished with nine points with all of his points coming from threes. 

“I’ve been seeing positives with these guys all year,” McElhinny said. “It starts with Khalon Simmons, with his skill set, you’re always gonna be in the game. Then, the young guys come around him and being able to score. The freshmen guards have been scoring consistently and we’re just getting tougher. It’s such a young team that every game they’re growing and you’re seeing progress. They’re gonna be fun.” 

Meadville will next host Mercyhurst Prep in a non-region game on Friday at 7:30 p.m.


Meadville (54)

Simmons 4 3-4 14, Luteran 2 0-0 13, Burchard 3 0-0 12, Miceli 0 0-0 9, Ball 1 2-2 4, Pope 0 2-2 2.

Totals 10 7-8 54. 

Hickory (68) 

Enoch 2 3-5 22, Fazzone 5 6-14 16, Djakovich 0 0-0 12, Pryts 5 2-2 12, Evangelista 0 0-0 3, Mele 1 1-2 3.

Totals 13 12-23 68. 

Meadville     13    10   12   19     54

Hickory        17     13    19    19    68

3-point goals: Meadville — Miceli 3, Luteran 3, Burchard 2, Simmons; Hickory — Enoch 5, Djakovich 4, Evangelista. 

Records: Meadville 4-6, 0-0 Region 6 ; Hickory 7-2, 3-1 Region 4. 

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