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franklin county times

The Big Three: Meridian High trio shooting for 5A state title

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 31, 2004
There are plenty of successful trios.
Moe, Larry and Curley. Groucho, Chico and Harpo. The Chipmunks.
Or more apt to this tale, Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. Bird, Parrish and McHale. Johnson, Jabar and Worthy.
Meridian High School's boys basketball team may have such a trio built for success in center Cyrus McGowan and guards Chris Harris and JaColby Davis.
Of course, Wildcats head coach Ernie Watson isn't ready to put them in the same stratosphere as the previously mentioned trios.
The coach's guarded enthusiasm about these three seniors on a senior-laden team is expected.
Watson is well known for his team-oriented coaching style. He is more than willing to remove five players from the game at once for another five.
Even McGowan, Harris and Davis shy away from pointing to themselves as being the guys who will need to bring Meridian High a state title.
All modesty aside, these three will need to be a major factor for the Wildcats to succeed this season.
Davis returns as Meridian High's leading scorer from last season, averaging 17.5 points per game. McGowan, who averaged 10.5 points, led the team in rebounds (277) and blocks (117) last year. Harris, who scored 6.6 points a game, dished out a team-high 151 assists.
Watson points to the respect these three players have received from the team as the reason why they are front and center in any discussion about the Wildcats this year.
McGowan, Harris and Davis were elected captains for the 2004-05 season.
Though there are 11 seniors on the team, the three Wildcats said they are not worried about stepping up to be leaders among their peers.
Each of the Wildcats big three has a defined role on the team.
Davis is the team's point scorer. He shot 57 percent from the floor and sank 73 percent of his free throws.
Davis also regularly matches up with an opposing team's top guard, which he does well. He led the team in steals last year with 53.
McGowan is the team's defensive force. The center grabbed 190 of his 277 rebounds on the defensive end of the floor, and the Wildcats' defense is designed to director opposing attackers towards him in the key.
Harris runs the show on offense. The point guard was the only player to collect over 100 assists last season, and he 67 percent from the free-throw line.
If the three Wildcats can repeat what they did last year, they may become as well known in Mississippi High School basketball as other trios are known throughout the world.

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