Meridian sweeps Northeast
LOOSE BALL Wayne County's Dietric Slater and Meridian High's Jason Windham go for the basketball during the War Eagles' 59-50 win over the Wildcats. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Swogetinsky/Special to the Star
QUITMAN The Meridian High School girls broke open a tight game in the final quarter as they defeated Wayne County 55-42 Wednesday night in the first round of the Quitman High School Invitational.
In other first-round games, the Wayne County boys downed Meridian 59-50, the South Jones girls stopped the Quitman girls 57-46, and the South Jones boys claimed a 68-66 overtime win over the host Panthers.
Meridian and Wayne County were tied at 23-all at the half. The Lady Wildcats outscored Wayne County 14-12 during the third stanza to hold a slim 37-35 lead heading into the final quarter.
That's when Cantea Brown and Chelse Alford took over. Brown scored nine points during the final eight minutes while Alford tossed in seven to account for 16 of Meridian's 18 fourth quarter points. The Lady Wildcats defense, meanwhile, held Wayne County seven points during the quarter.
Alford led Meridian with 15 points, while Kanecia Williams added 14 and Brown scored 13. Carla Bartee scored 18 points to lead Wayne County.
Wayne County boys 59, Meridian 50: Dietric Slater scored 23 points and Raymond Everett added 17 to lead the War Eagles to victory.
Wayne County led 34-26 at the half. The War Eagles outpointed Meridian 12-8 during the third stanza and held on during the final eight minutes for the win.
Jeremy Ruffin scored 17 points to lead Meridian, while Jamaine Winfield scored 12.
South Jones girls 57, Quitman 46: The Lady Braves led all the way as they defeated the home team.
Monique Dale scored 21 points to lead South Jones. Kemonica McGee's eight points paced the Quitman girls.
South Jones boys 68, Quitman 66 (OT): South Jones' Brian Marsh hit a three-point shot with 17 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The Braves then built up a 66-60 lead with 1:02 left in the overtime and held on to the victory.
Thaddaeus Walters scored 23 points to lead South Jones, while Rashune Walters added 12. Renaldo McKenzie scored 23 points to pace Quitman, with Lorenzo White and Marcus McCormick each adding 12 points.
The round-robin tournament action continues today starting at 4 p.m. In the first two games, the Meridian girls and boys play South Jones, while in the final two games, Quitman takes on Wayne County.
The tournament skips Friday night and concludes Saturday with four games.