Meridian outlasts Newton County
Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
HOLDING HANDS? n Meridian High School's Kanecia Williams battles for a rebound with Newton County's Yolanda Johnson Friday night in Decatur.
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 9, 2000
DECATUR All the pieces were in place for an upset.
But in the end, Meridian High School's girls' basketball team lived up to its billing.
Playing its first game as the state's No. 1 ranked team and on the road against perhaps its toughest opponent of the season, Meridian never trailed in a 55-46 win over Newton County.
The Lady Wildcats improved to 12-0 on the season, while Newton County's girls dropped to 12-2.
The Lady Cougars were tied twice with Meridian, once each in the first and second quarters. But Newton County could never get over the hump, Harris said, because of Meridian's edge on the glass.
The Lady Wildcats outrebounded the Lady Cougars 45-31 and got 22 second-chance points.
Meridian started with an 11-4 run that forced Harris into a timeout. His team responded, getting a three-pointer from Tamekia Foley that helped cut the lead to 15-11 after one period.
After the Lady Wildcats stretched their lead to eight to start the second period, Foley got a pair of putbacks to spark an 8-0 run for Newton County. Kristin Chaney's steal and layup with 2:06 left before halftime tied it for the final time at 23-23.
MHS was up 29-25 at halftime and and doubled its lead to eight heading into the final quarter.
There, a basket by Valencia Hairston put Meridian ahead by 10 and when Harrison made a nice save of an offensive rebound the Lady Wildcats got a layup from Kanecia Williams for their biggest lead of the game at 53-41 with 3:44 left.
Does she ever. Meridian's inside tandem of Cantea Brown and Kanecia Williams was deadly again Friday. Williams scored a game-high 22 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. Brown, despite foul trouble, scored 15 points, grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds and also blocked three shots.
Stephanie Mosley added eight points and three assists, Cassandra Harris dished out six assists and had three steals and Chandra Collier added six boards.
Foley had team-highs of 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for Newton County, while Lakelia Boggan scored 14 points and had two blocks. April Bufkin grabbed seven rebounds, had four steals and three assists, Chaney dished out six assists, Yolanda Johnson scored six points and Stephanie Airhart picked three steals.
Newton County hosts Southeast Lauderdale Tuesday, while Meridian is in action again tonight at home against Heidelberg.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.