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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
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Fall Fastbreak – Meadville

Meadville Bulldogs
Boys
Coach (season, record): Norm Price (24th season, 397-204)
2011-12 overall record: 16-7
2011-12 region record (place): 11-5 (tied for second)
2011-12 playoff results: Lost to Girard 44-37 in a District 10 Class AAA play-in game.
Top player lost: Fred Epps
Top returning players: Artrel Foster, Donte Hollingsworth, Zak Price, Trevor Clune, Jacob Gregor
Assistant coaches: Todd Pearson, Chuck Jones
Outlook: If there was one team in Class AAA that could match Hickory’s experience, it would definitely be Meadville. The Bulldogs return all five starters and will only have to replace Fred Epps, who graduated. Seniors Artrel Foster, Donte Hollingsworth, Zak Price and Trevor Clune are back along with junior Jacob Gregor. Foster averaged 11 points per game as a junior to be voted to the all-region second team along with Price, who scored 13 points per game. The experienced group could be bolstered by 6-4 freshman Jason Clune, 5-10 senior Phil Mottillo and 5-8 senior Marlon McCoy. The three will be crucial in helping the starting lineup get breaks and in case any of the five get into foul trouble. Foster (677 points), Hollingsworth (592) and Price (575) could all reach 1,000 points for Meadville this season. Region 5 is brutal, once again, with talented southern teams and it is only bolstered by George Junior replacing Titusville. Much like last year, it is unlikely any team will go unbeaten in region play but the team to survive the region schedule will be formidable in the D-10 playoffs. Meadville will need several big wins to stay near the top of the region, including two showdowns with Hickory.

Schedule
December
7-8 Meadville tournament
12 at McDowell 7:30
14 Sharon* 7:30
18 at Hickory* 7:30
21 Slippery Rock* 7:30
27-28 Meadville tournament
January
3 at George Junior* 7:30
5 at Farrell* 7:30
8 at Franklin* 7:30
15 Grove City* 7:30
18 at Oil City* 7:30
22 at Sharon* 7:30
25 Hickory* 7:30
29 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
February
1 George Junior* 7:30
5 Farrell* 7:30
7 Franklin* 7:30
9 Central Tech 7:30
12 at Grove City* 7:30
15 Oil City* 7:30
*Region 5 games

Girls
Coach (season): Casey Heller (1st season)
2011-12 overall record: 8-14
2011-12 region record (place): 4-8 (fifth)
2011-12 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Chaykala Lindsey, DaQueisha Epps
Top returning players: Shauntia Vactor-Pope, Katie DeWalt, Cadi McCoy
Assistant coaches: Chuck Walker, Tony Boca
Outlook: Meadville will start over with former Bulldog star Casey Heller. She is only a few years out of Edinboro but Heller is hungry to turn Meadville’s program around. The Bulldogs missed out on the playoffs last year but they have enough talent back to contend for a playoff spot. Meadville graduated Chaykala Lindsey and DaQueisha Epps but return three starters in Shauntia Vactor-Pope, Katie DeWalt and Cadi McCoy. Vactor-Pope and DeWalt bring in senior experience, while McCoy is a talented junior forward. The three will be important in leading a young Bulldogs team. Meadville has a few younger players that could earn playing time in camp as Heller searches for more size to complement her returning starters. The Bulldogs will have a tough road in region play this season. Franklin and Hickory are loaded while Grove City and Slippery Rock are never easy wins either. Meadville will need to buy into a new system with new players right away to return to the postseason.

Schedule
December
7-8 Meadville tournament
13 Villa Maria 7:30
15 at Sharpsville 2:30
20 Grove City* 7:30
26-27 Corry tournament
January
3 Titusville* 7:30
7 Central Tech 7:30
10 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
14 Hickory* 7:30
17 Franklin* 7:30
19 at Central Tech 7:30
21 at Oil City* 7:30
24 at Grove City* 7:30
26 at Strong Vincent 3:30
28 at Titusville* 7:30
31 Conneaut 7:30
February
4 Slippery Rock* 7:30
7 at Hickory* 7:30
11 at Franklin* 7:30
14 Oil City* 7:30
*Region 5 games

Friday: Mercer

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, Fall Fastbreak

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