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Meridian sweeps Heidelberg

By By Jamey Lanier/The Meridian Star
Dec. 10, 2000
The Meridian Lady Wildcats ran their record to a perfect 13-0 and solidified their hold on the state's No. 1 ranking with a 75-55 defeat of Heidelberg at Turnage Gymnasium Saturday night.
Meridian's boys held on to defeat the Oilers 72-67 in a thriller to complete the sweep.
Meridian girls 75, Heidelberg 55: Coach Donald Shirley's Lady Wildcats played a near perfect first half, outscoring Heidelberg 23-5 in the second quarter to take a 42-18 lead at halftime.
Heidelberg kept it close at 15-11 with 3:25 to play in the first quarter before Meridian exploded in the second quarter to take a 24-point lead into the locker room.
Meridian used tight defense and precision passing to control the tempo, and got tough inside play from Kanecia Williams and Cantea Brown. Williams poured in a game-high 24 points and Brown followed with 13 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Teammate Cassandra Harris scored 18 and dished out six assists.
The Lady Wildcats saw their lead expand to 32 points.
Sharpshooter Jessica Yates led the Lady Oilers with 22 points and teammate Lakesha Hales added 17.
Both ball clubs will be in action next week in the Frazier-Yarbrough Memorial Tournament.
Meridian boys 72, Heidelberg 67: The Wildcats came out flat and got all they wanted from Class 3A Heidelberg.
Meridian coach Ernie Watson was pleased to get the win.
The Oilers matched Meridian point for point in the first quarter behind tough inside play from Fred Stephens, who scored six unanswered points to bring his team within 17-16 after one quarter of play.
Both teams swapped baskets early on in the second quarter before Heidelberg took its first lead of the night, 22-21 at the 6:34 mark.
The Oilers held that lead behind the play of Michael Pierce, who drove the lane for three big baskets to help lead Heidelberg to a 33-31 lead at halftime.
Heidelberg coach Ted Williams saw his team come close, but a turnover or a close call always seemed to stop the Oilers' momentum.
The Wildcats kept it close in the third quarter but saw the Oilers hold a three-point edge at the end of the period.
Meridian tied the score with 5:50 left in the game and took its first lead since the second quarter on a jumper by Matt Gonzalez, going up 60-58 with 5:40 to play.
Heidelberg took the lead again with two minutes left before Jeremy Ruffin hit an inside shot to give Meridian the advantage.
Tony Dunn hit four free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the game for Meridian.
Dunn led Meridian with 17 points, while teammates Jamaine Winfield added 13 and Michael Davis chipped in 11. Heidelberg's Turner poured in 16 points, followed by Lee Jones with 15 and Stephens with 11.