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franklin county times

Meridian boys close in on another title

By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
June 26, 2004
Meridian High School edged a little closer to playing for its fifth State Games of Mississippi boys basketball championship in seven years with a couple of convincing wins on Friday.
The Wildcats had their inside and outside games going on the first day of play, defeating West Lauderdale 66-46 and Bay High School 70-47.
If MHS beats Quitman in today's 12:45 p.m. contest at the MHS gym, the Wildcats will move into tonight's semifinals against the Pool II winner at 8 p.m.
Wayne County currently has the edge in Pool II, which is being played at Meridian Community College. The War Eagles beat Noxubee County 51-38 and Northeast Lauderdale 45-36 and play Meridian II at 12:45 p.m.
Wayne County and Meridian play in a cross-pool contest which does not count in the standings at 4:30 p.m. at Meridian High School. The two teams could then play each other just a few hours later for the right to move to the finals.
Meridian 70
Bay High 47
What turned out to be the most lopsided of the boys games played at MCC or MHS began has quite a battle.
The Tigers of Bay High led 14-8 five minutes into the game and were up 17-15 with 8:25 to play in the opening 14-minute half.
The Wildcats then scored the next 12 points to go up 27-17 with 4:39 to play in the half. The Tigers began to get back into the flow of the game and trailed just 35-27 at the half.
But MHS opened the second half with dunks by Davis and Cornelius Miles before blowing the game wide open.
Cyrus McGowan led Meridian with 12 points, while Miles scored 10 and Davis, Anthony Brown and Chris Leggett scored nine each.
George Easley canned five three-pointers to pace Bay High with 15 points.
Meridian 66
West Lauderdale 46
Meridian opened up the game with outside shooting to stretch a 12-6 lead into a 22-10 advantage with five minutes to play in the first half.
The Wildcats put three players in double figures on the way to the 20-point win. Leggett led MHS with 14, while Harris and Davis scored 13 each and McGowan added eight.
Daniel Huggins scored 17 for the Knights, while Tony Jones hit for 10 and Mark Ford scored eight.
Wayne County 51
Noxubee County 38
The War Eagles held a 36-32 lead midway in the second half before Earon Moriarty sank a couple of baskets to help Wayne County stretch out its lead on the way to the win.
David Howard scored 13 to lead the War Eagles, while Carlton Arrington hit for nine and Moriarty scored eight. LaQuintas Horne scored 16 points to lead Noxubee County, while Brian Joiner added eight.
Meridian II 52
NE Lauderdale 45
Bruce Pope pumped in 20 points to lead Meridian II to a seven-point win over Northeast Lauderdale.
Ramero Osby scored 16 points to lead Northeast Lauderdale, while Maurice Langston added 15.
Noxubee County 57
Meridian II 51
Meridian II fell behind early, but rallied in the second half to cut the Noxubee County lead to two points, before the Tigers held on for the six-point win.
Joiner led the winners with 15 points, while Horne added 13. Pope led Meridian with 14 points.
Wayne County 45
NE Lauderdale 36
The last game at MCC on Friday saw the War Eagles take the nine-point win to remain undefeated going into today's play.
David Howard scored 14 points to lead Wayne Co., while Osby notched 19 to lead the NEL Trojans.
West Lauderdale 45
Quitman 37
Tony Jones scored 12 points to lead the Knights to the win over the Quitman Panthers.
Mark Ford had 10 for the winners, while Jay Stoddard scored nine and Huggins added eight.
Cordero Laphand scored nine and Rashad Wallace added eight to lead Quitman.
Today's games
At Meridian High School, West Lauderdale faces Bay High at 11:30 p.m., Quitman takes on Meridian at 12:45 p.m., Meridian plays Wayne County at 4:30 p.m. and Quitman plays Northeast Lauderdale at 5:45 p.m.
At Meridian Community College, Northeast Lauderdale takes on Noxubee County at 11:30 p.m., Meridian II plays Wayne County at 12:45 p.m., West Lauderdale takes on Noxubee county at 4:30 p.m. and Bay High plays Meridian II at 5:45 p.m.

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