Bulldogs score in bunches in 75-36 win
Jan. 28—The Bulldogs brought energy, excitement and a shooting touch to the House of Thrills on Friday night.
Matching up against Region 7 foe Fort LeBoeuf, the Bulldogs beat the Bison 75-36 at Meadville Area Senior High School. Meadville had three players finish in double digits, including two with more than 20 points.
"It's a make or miss game and we were making them. The young guys made a lot of shots tonight," Meadville head coach Mark McElhinney said. "We defended hard throughout the game and had good possessions all night, so I was real proud. We were down a couple guys again, so I was a little worried coming into the game, but the kids performed really well."
Out of the lineup was starting guard Khalon Simmons. Meadville was also missing rotational player Luc Soerensen. Despite being down a couple guys, Meadville came out firing.
The 'Dogs opened the game on a 10-2 run. Sophomore guard Lucas Luteran had eight of the team's 10 points. Fellow sophomore Jack Burchard got in on the action and helped the team to a 17-2 lead and an 18-10 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Meadville blew the top off the gym. The Bulldogs had 28 points, most of which came in the paint. Burchard, standing at 5-feet 9-inches, found lanes and navigated through taller defenders for 10 points in the quarter. Luteran added seven while Kellen Ball scored eight.
Meadville led 46-23 at the break.
"Jack and Lucas did a phenomenal job offensively. Kellen did his normal 14 points and 10 rebounds," McElhinney said. "I thought Donate (Burnett) played hard all night too. It was a good win for us."
Meadville stayed hot in the second half. Defensively, the Bulldogs clamped down on passing lanes and converted steals into fast break opportunities. Luteran snagged four steals to go with six rebounds.
The Bulldogs' defense smothered the Bison and didn't allow any easy buckets inside. Fort LeBoeuf scored two points in the fourth quarter.
"I thought Tate (Reichel) did a good job inside. Kellen obviously played hard and Kamari Pope also was a physical presence inside tonight for us too," McElhinney said. "It's good to see the young guys play well for us. They have a bright future in front of them and it was a fun night."
Luteran led the way with 25 points while Burchard and Ball added 23 and 14, respectively.
The win ends a five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs. Meadville's last win was Jan. 3, a 55-54 victory at Fort LeBoeuf.
The Bulldogs play at General McLane on Tuesday and will attempt to avenge a 70-51 loss in December.
"I feel like we haven't had our eight or nine man rotation all year. I'm kind of anxious to get everyone together for this stretch run and see what we can do," McElhinney said. "We definitely feel like we're competitive."
Fort LeBoeuf (36)
Papay 5 0-0 15, Dorler 3 3-6 9, Villa 2 0-0 6, Russo 1 1-2 4, Irving 1 0-0 2, Miller 0 1-2 1.
Totals 12 5-10 36.
Luteran 11 0-0 25, Burchard 11 1-1 23, Ball 6 1-1 14, Burnett 2 1-2 6, Reichel 2 0-1 4, Butler 1 0-0 3.
Totals 32 3-5 75.
3-point goals: Fort LeBoeuf — Papay 5, Villa 2, Russo; Meadville — Luteran 3, Burnett, Butler.
Records: Fort LeBoeuf 1-14, 0-7 Region 7; Meadville 5-11, 3-4 Region 7.
Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.