Meadville never led by more than seven until the final minutes, but when the pressure was on, the Eagles delivered, hitting 16 straight free throws in the final five minutes to beat the Winston Redbirds 50-46 in the Boys Class 1 basketball championship. The win completes a perfect season under first year head coach Drew Nier at 32-0.
Dalton Palmer, who scored 19 points in the semifinal win over Advance was held scoreless in the fourth quarter until his three from the left corner put Meadville up 32-26 early in the fourth quarter. It came at a crucial time after the Redbirds cut the Eagles lead to 27-26. Winston would not go away, managing to get the game back to 34-33 midway through the fourth.
Meadville made 22 of 24 free throws in the game and their ability to hit those down the stretch helped as they were able to outscore Winston 16-13 to close out the title. This is Meadville’s first state title in basketball in 13 appearances and first for the town since the girls won 20 years ago.
Cade Shifflett led Meadville with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Kristschon Hisel led Winston with 13 points, Jordan Leonard had 12 and sophomore Craig Lewis added 11.
Meadville’s T.J. Schmitz goes one on one with Missourinet
Meadville postgame with head coach Drew Nier
Winston postgame with head coach Tim Harding