Meadville jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first period Friday night and was never challenged as the Eagles coasted to a 65-29 victory over visiting Hardin-Central.
Willie Howe, who ended the night with a game-high 18 points, got things started for Meadville in that opening quarter with 14 points as he hit three buckets outside the arc. Rick Tate added 8 of his 17 points in the first frame for the Eagles. Meanwhile, Hardin-Central, now 0-3, could only get 4 points from Mark Carpenter and 2 more from Damon Johnson in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs got the offense going a little in the second frame, but Meadville managed to increase its lead to 38-15 by the half, and a 20-2 surge by the Eagles in the third period put the game out of reach.
Meadville also controlled the glass on both ends with the Eagles pulling down 9 offensive rebounds and 28 on the defensive end. Hardin-Central had 4 offensive boards and 9 defensive rebounds for the game. Meadville also hit 56 percent from the field, including half of its 12 3-point attempts. The Bulldogs shot just 25 percent from the field and were 2 of 15 from behind the arc.
Carpenter led the Hardin-Central scoring with 10 points, with Jake Harris adding 8 points and 4 rebounds. Also scoring for the Bulldogs were Austin Chase with 4 and Johnson with 3, while Cole Leakey and Randy Estenbaum adding 2 each.
Cody Smith was the third Eagle in double figures with 12 points.