Meridian Star

Sports

February 22, 2014

Meridian boys force OT, win region, 66-64

HATTIESBURG — After struggling to keep pace the entire game, the Meridian High School boys basketball team forced overtime against Brandon High School in the Region 5-6A title game Friday night.

And the Wildcats took home the No. 1 seed as they topped Brandon, 66-64, in the extra period.

B.J. Miller led Meridian in scoring with 29 points in a game interim head coach Tony Tadlock described as a “hell of a game.”

“From the beginning of this week until now, we’ve overcome a lot of adversity,” said Tadlock, referring to head coach Randy Bolden’s leave of absence. “We got down 13-0 in the first but came back and tied it 16-16. They kind of led the whole way, but we tied it up in the end with six seconds left on a 3-pointer.”

That trey came courtesy of Joel Baskin, who finished the game with 10 points. In the free basketball period, Meridian scored six points and held Brandon to four to secure the 5-6A title.

“We stayed focused and trusted in what we did, and we ended up coming out with a victory,” Tadlock said. “I can’t say how proud I was of these guys. It was a great, great game.”

Davontae Brewster was Meridian’s third double-digit scorer with 16 points. The Wildcats (22-6) will host Jim Hill High School Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Brandon 44, Meridian girls 37

HATTIESBURG — The Meridian High School girls looked to be on their way to a Region 5-6A championship after the first half of their game against Brandon High School Friday.

The Lady Wildcats opened up with a 24-11 halftime lead, but a rough third quarter for Meridian allowed Brandon to come storming back. The Lady Bulldogs would outscore Meridian 23-9 in that quarter, and the fourth quarter sealed the win for Brandon, as the Lady Wildcats scored 10 points in that frame while limiting Meridian to just four.

“We just went cold,” Meridian head coach Patricia Wilson said. “We kind of got away from the things we planned to do. We did a good job following through with that in the first half, but it got to where we couldn’t make shots.”

Meridian’s Kayla Gordon had a game-high 18 points, and Kadaisha Brown finished the game with 10 points. Brandon’s Olivia Countiss led her team in scoring with 15 points, and Tytianna Hall tallied 10 points.

With the loss, Meridian (23-5) will travel to Provine High School Monday for the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Wilson said even though her team is on the road, she has confidence her players can overcome whatever is thrown their way.

“Win or lose (Friday night), we would have had to go in, show up and be ready to play,” Wilson said. “Provine is going to be a hostile environment, but if we show up ready to play, I think we can pull it off.”

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