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franklin county times

Lady Knights, Wildcats grab golds

By Staff
JUMPER Meridian's Jason Windom makes a jump shot past Starkville's Rodney Hampton during gold medal basketball at Meridian Community College. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Austin Bishop / EMG regional sports director
June 24, 2002
Amy Frazier didn't lead West Lauderdale in scoring in its 48-44 double-overtime gold medal game victory in the State Games of Mississippi on Sunday afternoon.
In fact, her four points were the fewest recorded by any of the six Lady Knights who scored in the win over Meridian High School at Meridian Community College's Ivy Sports Center.
But they were also the most deadly.
She hit two free throws to give West Lauderdale a two-point lead just five seconds into the second overtime, then knocked down two more free throws with 12.6 seconds left in the game to put the Lady Knights ahead by four and ice the win.
Once the first free throw went in, giving WL a 47-44 lead, Frazier said the pressure was off. "I am completely relaxed when I make the first one," she said. "I concentrate more on the first one than I do on the second one."
West Lauderdale coach Jody Hurst said he wasn't necessarily setting it up for Frazier to go the line, but it was fine with him when she was fouled.
Even though the Lady Knights were ahead by two points and in possession of the ball with time running down on the clock, Frazier said she was still surprised that she got fouled.
West Lauderdale jumped out to an 18-7 lead with 8:15 left in the first half, but the Lady Wildcats wouldn't go away.
Hairston scored 20 points to lead the Lady Wildcats, who defeated Newton High School 53-51 in Sunday morning's semifinal action to reach the finals.
MHS pulled to within 24-20 at the half, finally tying the game at 38-38 on a basket by Alexis Clemons with 1:44 to play in regulation. Both teams had chances to win it in regulation, but turnovers forced an overtime.
The Lady Wildcats took a 41-38 lead on a three-pointer by Megan Mendiola with 1:36 left in the first overtime. Jennings converted an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the game 12 seconds later and neither team could score for the remainder of the overtime period.
MHS did have a chance to win it at the buzzer, but a desperation layup went in and rimmed out.
Kristina Gardner led West Lauderdale with 12 points, while Monroe hit for nine.
Hurst, whose team used 29 points from J.J. Huggins to beat South Pike 52-45 in Saturday morning's semifinals, was not surprised by the intensity of the gold medal game.
It was West Lauderdale's second straight year to win the gold medal in the State Games. Meridian has played in six gold medal games in the 11-year history of the event, winning three times.

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