Meadville, Polo girls prevail in area prep basketball opener splits
Sharp free-throw shooting paced MHS Lady Eagles
The C-T-area high school basketball season tipped off last weekend or early this week for some teams, while most waited until after Thanksgiving to get underway.
Last Saturday at Salisbury, Meadville and Glasgow split, the same outcome as Polo and Plattsburg had at Polo Tuesday.
SALISBURY — MHS’ Lady Eagles grabbed a 13-6 lead in the opening eight minutes and, despite shooting only about 33% from the field, kept the Lady Yellowjackets at arm’s length the rest of the way, “winning” three of the four quarters to prevail by 10.
A 3-pronged all-veterans attack carried first-year head coach Ryan Young’s winners.
Hitting three of seven tries beyond the arc, senior Maggie McLain, back in action after being kayoed with an injury the last couple of months last season, popped in a game-high 16 points. Junior Mallory Dennis right behind with 15. Sophomore Korrie Holcer tacked on another 10.
Aside from McLain, the rest of the Lady Eagles were icy outside, sinking only two of 18 long-range shots, but free-throw shooting was a major saving grace. Meadville drained 16 of 21 at the charity stripe, with Dennis eight of 11 and McLain a perfect three for three.
According to MHS statistics posted online, McLain also led the Lady Eagles’ rebounding with seven and had a couple of steals.
The boys’ game saw Glasgow in control from the early going, holding Meadville to eight first-half points and 14 through three periods.
Junior Parker Hammond’s eight points – six of them from the foul line – paced the losers, who did have senior guard Kaje Tsikoyak back after he went down with a knee injury during last season’s Meadville Invitational Tournament.
Center Hammond ripped down 12 rebounds, evenly split between offensive and defensive. Junior Kyler Klein provided seven.
Glasgow’s traditionally-gritty defense helped cause 18 MHS turnovers, according to stats posted online by coach Young.
Meadville’s teams will be in Mendon’s Northwestern Invitational Tournament this coming week. The top-seeded girls begin against Hale-Bosworth Monday at 7 p.m., right after the fourth-seeded Eagles clash with Brunswick at 5:45.
POLO — The Polo Lady Panthers, expected to be quite good this season after an 18-6 2020-21 campaign that ended with a fade, rolled out of the gate for the new campaign in strong offensive fashion, putting up 36 points in the first half Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers’ offense was nicely balanced with seven players contributing five or more points and only one reaching double digits. Mary Copeland’s 10 tallies led the way with fellow returnees Chloe Gilbert and Lily Gentry putting in nine each and Alayna Chapman eight, including a pair of treys.
Plattsburg’s Savannah Bingham led all scorers with 16 points before fouling out.
Polo’s Panthers were led by returning top ’20-’21 scorer Trent Raby, who popped in 22, nine of which came in the last stanza when the outcome was long decided. Maverick Gentry, a 6’1” freshman, chipped in 14.
Plattsburg dashed to a 42-22 halftime lead by out-pointing Polo 22-9 in the second period. The winners were powered by Isaia Howard’s 34 points, 18 of which splashed down from outside the arc.
“The Panthers' inexperience and lack of depth was evident as the Tigers jumped out to a big lead after a competitive first quarter,” Polo head coach Morgan Dickson reports. “We made a nice run in the fourth quarter against the second-string.”
“I was pleased with the effort and how we competed, but we still have lots of details to work through.”
Despite the defeat, Dickson says he delivered this message in the locker room afterward: “We have lots of potential.”
Polo next plays in this coming week’s Gallatin Invitational Tournament. The girls, seeded No. 1, will take on Gilman City Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the tourney lidlifter. The sixth-seeded Panthers will follow at 5:45 against No. 3 Maysville.