The Meadville girls' basketball team had a tough time scoring on Thursday night, and host Tina-Avalon eliminated the Eagles from the Class 1 District 11 tournament by 55-33 decision.
Thursday night was the only time since its first game of February that Meadville was held to fewer than 50 points.
Top-seeded Tina-Avalon jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Eagles even recorded a quality shot. Like many of the opponents Meadville has played this year, Tina-Avalon had a notable size advantage and was able to recover offensive rebounds time and time again. The Dragons used that size on the low block to garner a 27-13 lead at the halftime break.
The Eagles finish the year 12-12, while the Dragons improve to 17-4 and await Hale in Saturday's district title game. Meadville loses only Klarissa Roberts entering next season.
"Most of our games this year, a big story has been size difference," Meadville coach Caitlyn Cramer said. "They used that low block really well and pulled down some big rebounds and used those possessions to their advantage. Tina-Avalon shot the ball well tonight, so we have to give them props on that as well. We struggled finding our rhythm, and we got off to a lull of a start. They capitalized on that.
"This whole season, our focus has been on growth. Our big emphasis this year has been rebounding, and we don't have the size, but we have the heart."
Tina-Avalon had three scorers post 12 points or greater, and Meadville did not have any player in double-figures in scoring.
The the two teams' first matchup in Tina earlier in the season, the Dragons topped the Eagles 53-43. That evening, Meadville sophomore guard Kiera Holcer posted 28 points. She was held to just eight on Thursday.
Freshman Maggie McLain also posted eight points, Krysta Meyers had five, and Audrey Holcer and McKenna Lambert both finished with a pair of baskets.
"We did a great job defensively on (Kiera) Holcer," Tina-Avalon coach Dana Hansen said. "She makes a big difference in her ball club, but we set the tone early and did what we had to do. We kept building from there. Girls stepped up defending her, and really did an excellent job."