Powered by a double-double from Dennis Miles, the top-seeded Meridian High boys basketball team dispatched of host Petal on Thursday night in a Division 5-6A tournament elimination game.
The Wildcats, who improved to 23-5, will face Hattiesburg, a 65-62 winner against Oak Grove, today for the division championship.
Miles, a Dandy Dozen selection by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks to pace Meridian, which jumped on top of the Panthers 18-8 following the first quarter. The Wildcats stretched that lead to 34-14 at halftime before cruising from there.
Devonte Brewster and Torlorf Thomas each added 17 points for the Wildcats, who remained perfect against division competition this season.
Meridian girls 52
Oak Grove 45
The Wildcats trailed by 10 at halftime but staged a late rally to force overtime in the first game of the Division 5-6A tournament at Petal, and then shut down the Warriors in the extra session.
Trailing 31-21 at the break following an 11-2 Oak Grove run, Meridian pulled within 39-35 entering the fourth. The Wildcats then knotted it at 43 following regulation before pulling away in overtime to advance to the division championship game at 6 p.m. Meridian will face Hattiesburg, which defeated Petal 58-38.
Kayla Gordon, also a Dandy Dozen selection, led MHS with 27 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.
W. Lauderdale 57
Quitman boys 53
The Knights continued their surge in the Division 5-4A tournament by taking down the second-seeded Panthers in a semifinal game at Laurel.
West, which finished the regular season sixth in the division, toppled third-seeded Newton County in an elimination game Tuesday before knocking off Quitman.
Vince Watkins led the Knights with 17 points, while JD Williams added 13. West will play Laurel, an 81-50 winner against Northeast Jones for the division championship at 8:30 p.m. today.
Quitman girls 36
NE Lauderdale 17
The top-seeded Panthers defeated the Trojans to advance to today’s 7 p.m. championship game. No further details were reported.