Lady Wildcats start fast on way to victory
Feb. 17, 2001
By Richard Dark
The Meridian Star
WAYNESBORO The Meridian High Lady Wildcats clinched another Division 5-5A Tournament Championship by virtue of a hard-fought 61-52 victory over the host Wayne County High School Lady War Eagles here Friday night.
With the win, the Lady Cats (28-4) will return home to face the Div. 8-5A runnerup in Gulfport on Monday.
The Lady Cats had to withstand a comeback after opening the contest by taking a 15-0 amidst the stunned silence of most of the Thunderdome faithful.
Chelse Alford, who tallied 20 points to lead MHS nailed a pair of 3-pointers and put back a miss that propelled her team to the early 9-0 and caused Wayne County head coach Gina Skelton to burn a timeout just under two minutes in.
Cantea Brown added 17 points, including several clutch turnaround buckets down the stretch after the Lady War Eagles (22-7) rallied to take the 33-32 lead on a Carla Bartee jumper at the 4:07 mark of the third. Bartee led the Lady War Eagles with 28 points.
Meridian then seized the momentum, reeling off a 14-5 run to end the quarter, capped by an Alford stickback at the horn.
Alford, who has played the entire season with a knee injury, said she felt good shooting the basketball. Four 3-pointers backed up her assertion.
For Skelton's crew, it's a trip to Hattiesburg on Monday.
MHS led as much as 18-2 in the early going before Wayne pulled to within eight at the break on last second putback by Natalie Jordan. Then the hosts promptly came out in the second half and outscored MHS 9-0 in the first four minutes.
Kanecia Williams, who was saddled with foul trouble, turned in six points and eight rebounds. Cassandra Harris threw in seven and five steals, while guard Stephanie Mosley added eight points and five assists.
Other Lady War Eagles who contributed were Jordan and Arletha Bartee with eight and six, respectively.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.