Frazier/Yarbrough tips off tonight
PRIME TIME WILDCAT Meridian HIgh Wildcat Jason Windom (No. 23) will lead his team tonight in the opening night of the Frazier Yarbrough Tournament at the MHS Physical Education Building. Photo by Paula Merritt/the Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / sports editor
Dec. 12, 2002
Talk about anxious to play, the Meridian High Lady Wildcats want some game action, and fast.
They will get it beginning tonight with the tip-off of the four-team Frazier/Yarbrough Tournament. The round-robin format will see boys and girls teams from Meridian, Quitman, Heidelberg and Noxubee County battle for tournament titles.
The Lady Wildcats, 6-1 on the season, have not played since an easy romp over Jackson Lanier on Nov. 26 at the Meridian Physical Education Building. Coach Donald Shirley's team has won six straight but he doesn't know how the long layoff will affect his team.
Three of Meridian's wins in the six-game streak have come against Noxubee County, Heidelberg and Quitman. But all three were tight affairs.
Meridian opens with Heidelberg at 7 p.m. tonight. Meridian beat the Lady Oilers in Heidelberg back in mid-November. Quitman (6-4) will face Nioxubee County in the opening tournament game at 4 p.m.
On Friday, Noxubee faces Heidelberg and Quitman takes on Meridian. On Saturday, Heidelberg and Quitman square off at 4 p.m. while Meridian closes out the girls action at 7 against Noxubee County.
The Lady Wildcats are led by 6-foot-3 senior standout Valencia Hairston. Hairston is averaging 21 points per game and is one of the top wing players in the state.
Improved post players Courtney Wade and Alexis Clemons add strength inside while Megan Mendiola and Brittany Davidson form the backcourt.
Shirley would like to see his team play more consistent and make more free throws.
Wildcat head coach Ernie Watson is hoping to get his team back on track since a rough two-game trip to the Alabama/Mississippi Challenge in Oxford. The Wildcats were beaten both days.
John Carroll Catholic out of Birmingham beat the Wildcats 67-51 last Friday at Lafayette High School. Then on Saturday afternoon, Eufaula, Ala., whipped Meridian 80-62.
Meridian is led by USM signee in 6-foot-5 wing Jason Windom. From there, the Wildcats have made some moves this week.
Windom averaged 17.5 in the Alabama Challenge and is at 20 points per game for the season. E.J. Watson is the point guard.
Like the girls, Meridian (4-4) has beaten all three teams they will face in the tournament. But they needed Windom's buzzer beater to beat Quitman back in mid-November.
Quitman gets its rematch on Friday at 8:30 p.m. The Panthers are led by 6-6 forward Jonathan McCarty and guards Roderick Laphand and Lonnie Magee.
Heidelberg was the 3A State runner-up last season.