Cats take road win over division rival NW Rankin
By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Sat., Jan. 20, 2001
BRANDON The Meridian High Wildcats survived a tough road test Friday night while claiming a 71-67 Division 5-5A victory over Northwest Rankin.
Leading the way for MHS was the balanced scoring attack of Michael Davis, Jamaine Winfield and Jason Windham. Windham scored 11 with Winfield and Davis putting in 10.
Both sides got into foul trouble early and neither could mount much momentum in the first half. At the break, the Cats held a 34-33 edge.
But Meridian took control early in the second half before tempers began to flare. After the referee had to separate both teams several times with Meridian holding a four-point lead, Wildcat head coach Ernie Watson was whistled for a technical foul that resulted in the Cougars, 15-10 and 2-2 in Division 5-5A, taking a one-point lead.
Meridian stormed back with a 7-0 run that was capped by a jumper from Davis at the 3:06 mark of the third quarter to give MHS, 18-5 and 3-1, a lead it would not give up. Windham was the key down the stretch, scoring on layups and putbacks to help build the Wildcats' advantage to nine points with less than a minute to go in the third quarter.
Trailing by five going into the final frame, the Cougars, who were led by Ivory Horne's 23 points and 10 rebounds, knew they had to get some clutch scoring. After Jeremy Ruffin, who finished with eight points and a technical foul, missed a slam dunk, NWR responded with a three-point bomb from Reggie Walker to pull to within two. It was as close as they would get the rest of the way. Walker finished with nine.
Marcus Melvin, a big part of Northwest's inside game, fouled out with six minutes to go. With him gone, the Wildcats had more freedom inside, and responded by pushing the lead back up to seven within 30 seconds.
Patrick Lindsey hit a pair of free throws and a layup to bring the Cougars within three. Lindsey finished with 20 points for Northwest Rankin.
From there, Meridian pushed the lead back up to nine behind Winfield and Windham, who dominated the glass for second shots. With 1:36 left, the game began to break down as players started jawing with each other and fights almost broke out. But cooler heads prevailed as did Meridian.
The Cats play in the Hotbed Classic at New Albany today against Tupelo.
Meridian 78, Northwest 33: The Lady Cats were never threatened as they improved to 21-2 and 3-0 in the division.
Kanecia Williams put in 18 points and Chandra Collier scored eight of her 14 in the fourth quarter as MHS jumped all over the Lady Cougars, 5-16, 0-4.
Stephanie Mosley also had nine points for the Lady Cats, who built up a 40-16 halftime lead. The lead ballooned to as much as 45 points.
Stephanie Boggans had 19 points to lead Northwest.
The key early was in the Lady Cats' shot selection. Whenever NWR would back off, Meridian would respond with a three-pointer. When the defense would there, the guards would kick it inside for easy buckets.