3rd McDowell-Prep game will count in region

Tom Reisenweber
| Erie Times-News

Cathedral Prep and McDowell will meet on the basketball court for the third time this season Friday, but it’s the first time the game will count in the Region 6 standings.

The two rivals will battle at the Joann Mullen Gymnasium in the Hagerty Family Events Center at 7:30 p.m. with first place on the line. Cathedral Prep and Meadville are tied for first place at 2-1 followed by Erie and McDowell, which are both 1-1 in the region.

The Ramblers and Trojans already have an unusual history against each other this season. The two played on Dec. 11 with Prep beating McDowell at Paul Goll Gymnasium 59-50. Liam Galla scored 20 points in the win, while Khali Horton added 15. Jackson Hower led McDowell with 14 points and Jaden Harper had 12.

More: Cathedral Prep and McDowell will play a boys basketball rematch Friday

The game, which was part of McDowell’s tip-off tournament, was played on opening day of the basketball season, but high school sports were shut down the following day as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation restrictions.

McDowell and Prep met again on Jan. 8, which was the first play date after the shutdown. Prep won 81-77 behind 31 points from Galla and 24 from Horton. Jonah Bock led McDowell that day with 26 points and Harper had 15.

More: Prep uses clutch free-throw shooting to edge McDowell as basketball season resumes

Neither game counted toward the Region 6 race and the two teams will play a fourth time on Feb. 16 at McDowell.

The last time Prep and McDowell played three times in a season, it involved the playoffs. The two met in region play during the 2013-14 season before McDowell beat Prep 66-52 for the District 10 Class 4A championship on Feb. 25 at the Hammermill Center.

One of the most historic seasons was the 1995-96 season when Prep and McDowell played five times, including a 47-44 win by the Ramblers in the PIAA Class 4A semifinals.

Last, but not least

The Sharpsville girls basketball team played its first game earlier this week, leaving just two basketball teams in District 10 without a game played this winter.

On the boys’ side, Conneaut is scheduled to make its season debut on Friday at home against Fairview. The Eagles have endured COVID-19 shutdowns and will try to get four games played in six days to make up some ground. Conneaut will travel to Cochranton on Saturday, take Sunday and Monday off, travel to Oil City on Tuesday and travel to Warren on Wednesday.

On the girls’ side, the only team to not play a game this season is General McLane. The Lancers have struggled to get their season going, and the entire athletic department is shut down until next week. If General McLane can resume in-person activities on Monday and get their practices in, the Lancers are scheduled to play at Lakeview on Feb. 6.

More: COVID-19 issues force Corry, General McLane to pause athletic programs

Chasing perfection

Harbor Creek knocked off North East 59-42 in boys basketball on Wednesday to hand the Grapepickers their first loss of the season. North East was one of the last few undefeated teams in District 10.

More: Harbor Creek holds off North East in boys basketball showdown

Reynolds and Conneaut are the only boys teams without a loss this season. The Raiders are 1-0 and returned from a shutdown on Thursday to host Farrell, and Conneaut is set to start the season Friday.

Aside from General McLane, which hasn’t played a game yet, there are seven girls basketball teams without a loss this year. Kennedy Catholic (8-0), Grove City (4-0), Slippery Rock (5-0), Lakeview (2-0) and Greenville (5-0) are undefeated teams in Mercer County, while Mercyhurst Prep (5-0) and Villa Maria (7-0) represent the northern part of D-10.

Contact Tom Reisenweber at treisenweber@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNreisenweber.

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