from staff reports
The Meridian Star
B.J. Miller erupted for 12 third-quarter points to help the Meridian High School boys basketball team pull away for a 53-37 win over Crisp County (Ga.) in the first round of the Chick-Fil-A Holiday Invitational Classic Thursday night in Tucker, Ga.
Leading Crisp County, 28-24, with 4:00 remaining in the third quarter, Miller hit a three to extend the Wildcats' lead to seven. From there Meridian never looked back, outscoring Crisp County 19-12 in the third and 10-5 in the fourth. Miller finished the night with 14 points and six rebounds.
“B.J. Stepped up big for us in the third quarter,” Meridian head coach Randy Bolden said. “But, that's what we expect from him every night.”
Jontavious Thomas had a monster night for Meridian, scoring 10 points to go with 17 rebounds and six blocks. Joel Baskin scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arch while also recording six rebounds for the Wildcats.
With the win, Meridian improves to 11-3 on the season and will stay in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tournament.
The Wildcats will face the winner of Glen Hills (Ga.) and Greenforest Academy (Ga.) tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“We enjoy coming to this tournament every year and playing against some of the best teams in the South,” Bolden said. “We feel like playing against the level of competition here prepares us for district play.”
After the Chick-Fil-A Holiday Invitational Classic, Meridian will return home to face Ramond on Jan. 4.
The Meridian girls basketball team will also be in action today, as the Lady ’Cat’s face off against Warren Central in the Jackson Public Schools Pepsi Holiday Tournament at 2:30 p.m. from Lanier High School.
The Lady ’Cats are currently 11-2 on the year.