Meridian girls win again
By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 25, 2001
The Meridian High School Lady Wildcats used a strong defensive effort to shut down Moss Point in the second half en route to a 52-33 victory in the finals of the South State 5A girls championship game.
The Lady Wildcats, 31-4, will enter the State Girls 5A tournament in Jackson on March 5.
This will be Meridian's seventh straight trip to the State Tournament, and it's the fourth time in seven years that the Lady Cats have won the South State championship.
Both teams started off with a hot hand. But while Moss Point hit its first four baskets in the two-point area, Meridian scored four in a row from 3-point range and held a 12-9 edge with 5:13 left in the first quarter. From that point until the quarter break, the Lady Wildcats stayed just out of Moss Point's reach and led 19-17 at the end of one.
Moss Point again pulled to within one point, 21-20, with 6:23 remaining in the half. But then Meridian ran off 12 unanswered points to go up 32-20 with 1:36 left in the half. That scoring effort came despite the fact that Meridian missed five of six freethrow attempts in a 10 second span. At the half, MHS led 32-23.
Moss Point really never got back in the game as Meridian pulled away. The Lady Cats outpointed the Lady Tigers 10-8 during the third stanza to lead 42-31 at the break. And in the final quarter, MHS held Moss Point to one basket while putting in 10 of its own.
Cassandra Harris scored 12 points to lead Meridian, and was the only player in double figures. Moss Points drops to 27-5 on the season.
The Lady Cats are now two wins away from winning the State 5A championship, but Shirley didn't want to talk about that.
In the first game, the Provine Lady Rams sent Hattiesburg home for the season with a 64-57 victory. Victoria Anderson scored 25 points to lead Provine while Tosha Christmas added 21. Kristin McKinley's 25 points paced the Hattiesburg offensive attack.
All Tournament team: Three Meridian players were named to the All South State 5A team. They were Kanecia Williams, Cantea Brown and Stephanie Mosley. Other members of the team were Monique Cowart, Bran Dee Fry and Angel Liddell of Moss Point, Victoria Anderson and Keshia Canden of Provine, and Kristie McKinley of Hattiesburg.