Meridian sweeps Northeast
THE TWO STEP Northeast Lauderdale's Clinton Hales and Meridian's Jeremy Ruffin battle for a rebound Tuesday night at MCC. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
By totally opposite methods, Meridian swept a pair of basketball games from Northeast Lauderdale at Meridian Community College Tuesday night.
The Lady Wildcats came out hot, leading 30-3 at halftime, in claiming a 47-27 win.
On the other hand, the Wildcats were in a battle with the Trojans for a half before posting a 68-50 victory.
In a schedule change, the Meridian teams will take on Wayne County today at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Quitman Invitational. Those two games were moved from Friday due to Wayne's football playoff game at Moss Point. The rest of the tournament remains as scheduled.
Northeast's next action is Thursday in the Lauderdale County Tournament at MCC.
Meridian boys 68, Northeast 50: The Wildcats led 13-12 after one quarter before the Trojans got four straight free throws from Clinton Hales to take an 18-15 lead with 4:54 to go in the second period.
A 7-0 run off Northeast turnovers gave the Cats a 22-18 lead with 3:08 showing in the first half.
Northeast then closed to 27-26 at the break on a 3-pointer from Kron Johnson and a free throw from Hales.
Meridian, which was coming in off a 79-60 loss at Starkville on Saturday, opened the second half with an 8-0 run and claimed 16 of the half's first 18 points to go up 43-28. Fred Cole scored eight of those points, while Jamaine Winfield had six.
The Cats outscored Northeast 23-7 over the third quarter and took a 50-33 lead on Josh Walker's basket that just beat the period-ending horn.
Meridian, 3-2, led by as much as 20 points on a breakaway dunk by Ruffin with 1:34 remaining.
Winfield led the Cats with 16 points. Ruffin had 13, Jason Windom scored 11, and Cole had 10.
Northeast, 1-2, got 14 points from Jimmy Kelly and 12 from Hales. Hales' points came on a 12-of-16 showing at the free-throw line.
Meridian girls 47, Northeast 27: The girls' game was decided early as Meridian jumped out to a 15-2 first quarter lead behind six points from Chelse Alford and then took a 30-3 advantage into halftime.
The Lady Wildcats took their biggest lead at 32-3 before a 9-0 run by Northeast's Dorecious Powe pulled the Lady Trojans to within 33-15.
Powe fouled out with 13 points with 7:51 left in the game and seven straight points by Alford extended Meridian's lead to 40-15.
Alford led Meridian, 6-0, with 14 points. Kanecia Williams scored nine, Valencia Hariston tossed in eight, and Stephanie Mosley added seven.
Powe's 13 points led Northeast, 2-3. Quin Jackson scored seven.
Marty Stamper is a sports correspondent for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.