Meridian Star

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December 22, 2013

Wildcats split with Gulfport

MERIDIAN —     After knocking off #1 Callaway, The Meridian High School Varsity boys basketball team would not be intimidated as they  took on the #2 ranked Gulfport Admirals in front of a packed house Saturday night at home.

    Although they were down 19-13 at the end of the first period, the Cats stormed back  to even the score 31-31 at the half. Both teams came out of the locker room ready to play in the 3rd period, but the Admirals managed to outscore the Cats 12-9 in this period, leaving Meridian trailing 40-43.

    With the game on the line in the final period, both teams came out smoking.

    Making shot after shot, the Cats took their first lead of the game with 5:48 remaining. The fourth period run included two 3 point shots by  junior forward Joel Baskin. But, the Wildcat momentum was sidetracked by two questionable foul calls underneath the Admirals' goal. Gulfport capitalized on those calls to give them a two possession lead with less than two minutes to play. But, Meridian was not done, as senior guard Robert Peden stormed down the court to land a huge three-pointer to pull the Cats within two. With the Admirals nursing a 58-55 lead, the Cats committed a foul and sent Gulfport's best shooter to the line with 24 seconds remaining. The Admiral shooter made one of the shots to push the lead to four.  Meridian inbounded the ball and got it into the hands of senior guard Devontae Brewster. Brewster pulled up for a three that sailed through the net, bringing the Cats to within one.

    When the Admirals got the ball, they headed to their goal, looking to run out the clock. MHS had no choice but to foul again and sent the same Admiral shooter to the line with 12 seconds left. To the astonishment of all, he missed both shots, and the rebound grabbed by Baskin gave the Cats one last chance to take the win. As the home crowd held their collective breaths, Meridian put its last shot in the air for the win from the three-point-line, but it would not go. The Cats took the home loss 59-58.

    Jontavious Thomas lead Meridian with 16 points, followed by Joel Baskin with 11.

    Coach Randy Bolden said he was proud of his team's effort tonight. The 10-3 Wildcats  travel to Atlanta to play in the Converse Tournament beginning Thursday, December 26.

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