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Lady Knights crush Lady Wildcats, 72-42

By Staff
ON THE FLOOR – Meridian's Valencia Hairston and West Lauderdale's Kristina Gardner scramble for ball possession. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Nov. 2, 2002
CHOCTAW – West Lauderdale head girls' basketball coach Jody Hurst expects his team to be a good one this year, but even he was caught off guard by the Lady Knights' 72-42 blowout of Meridian in the sixth-annual Choctaw Classic Saturday night at Choctaw Central High School.
West had 13 offensive rebounds, including three on one sequence in the first quarter.
The Lady Knights took advantage of second-chance baskets in the early going to take a 15-8 lead. West went up 19-10 on a layup by Amy Frazier with 1:50 remaining in the opening period and grabbed a 25-14 advantage when Patty Monroe drove the baseline 10 seconds before the end of the opening period.
The Lady Knights led by as many as 16 points (34-18) in the second quarter before taking a 36-23 lead into halftime. Matters only got worse for Meridian in the third quarter as the Lady Wildcats managed just two points on a basket by Valencia Hairston with 3:20 on the clock.
Meanwhile, the Lady Knights used a 9-0 run during a 60-second span to turn a 37-23 lead into a 46-23 doubling of the Lady Wildcats with 5:35 showing. In the run, Monroe hit a layup, Cierra Jennings connected from 3-point range, and J.J. Huggins scored twice from close range.
The Lady Knights held a 54-25 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. The lead grew to as much as 31 points over the final eight minutes. A pair of free throws by Shannon Lloyd gave West a 56-25 lead with 7:26 to go.
Huggins finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Kristina Gardner had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Lloyd had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Monroe scored 12 points and Frazier finished with six. West was 24-of-32 at the free-throw line, while Meridian was just 1-of-9.
With last year's runner-up finish to New Albany in the Class 3A state tournament, the Lady Knights entered this season ranked No. 10 in the state by The Clarion-Ledger.