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Wildcats get win over Quitman

By By Jeff Byrd//The Meridian Star
Dec. 14, 2001
Not only was it raining outside, but it was also raining whistles inside the Meridian High Gym on Thursday night.
The nightcap of the opening night of the Frazier-Yarbrough Tournament saw 45 fouls called between Meridian and visiting Quitman. With help from a deeper bench, the Wildcats wore down the Panthers to take the 75-56 victory.
The win improves Meridian to 8-3 on the season. They will take on a tough Heidelberg squad tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the second round of action. Quitman, 3-10, will face Noxubee County who lost to Heidelberg 65-41.
Meridian Head Coach Ernie Watson credited his bench play, especially third quarter for help leading the way.
Hampton scored all six of his points in the third quarter which included a 4-for-4 effort from the line. That helped turn a tough, three-point game from the half, into a 53-38 cushion after three quarters.
The first team re-entered to start the fourth and Tony Dunn went to work hitting a driving basket and then adding a three-pointer to make it 58-40 with 6:14 left.
The lead would hit 19 at 65-46 but Quitman charged back behind Marcus McCormick who lit up a seven-point run with two baskets and a three-pointer cutting Meridian's lead to 12 at 65-53 with three minutes to play.
The Wildcats, though, answered with a 10-3 run to close the game. Again it was the bench that helped with four points from Quann Carlisle and two baskets from E.J. Watson.
Quitman Coach Steve Hampton said his team must do better playing up tempo.
Meridian led 13-6 after one quarter with six points from Jamaine Winfield and five from Fred Cole. Josh Walker came off the bench to hit a key three-point and then added a three-point bomb to boost Meridian to a 27-18 advantage.
Quitman made a 10-2 run to close to within 29-28 following a basket by McCormick. It was 31-28 at the half.
McCormick led all scorers with 22 points. Jason Pearson had nine and Lorenzo White had eight for the Panthers.
Meridian was led by Winfield's 14 points. Cole and Dunn each had 10. Mark Walker chipped in eight as did Josh Walker. Carlisle had seven while Hampton and Naylor each had six.
Heidelberg 65
Noxubee County 41
The Heidelberg Oilers used a strong third quarter to bury the Noxubee County Tigers in Thursday's other boys game at the Frazier-Yarbrough Tournament.
Heidelberg moves to 8-3 with the win and will face Meridian tonight at 8:30 p.m., Noxubee County falls to 3-9 and will face Quitman at 5:30.
Derrick Turner scored eight of his game high 21 points in the third to turn a 26-19 halftime lead into a 45-27 cushion.
Billy Wright and Fred Stephens each had 10 points for the Oilers. Cedric Pierce added nine.
Noxubee County was paced by O'Bryan Brandy's 14 points.
Heidelberg led 17-7 after one quarter. Noxubee got back in it scoring 10 straight to tie it at 17-17. The Oilers responded with a 9-2 run to finish the half to make it 26-19.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at jbyrd@themeridianstar.com.

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