Hairston fires in 38 for Meridian

By Staff
SOARING LADY CAT Heidelberg's Shawana Stevens attempts to block the jump shot of Meridian's Valencia Hairston. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Dec. 13, 2002
Valencia Hairston scored 38 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Meridian Lady Cats to a 65-60 win over Heidelberg in opening-night action in the 2002 Frazier-Yarbrough Tournament at MHS.
In the other girls' game, Quitman defeated Noxubee County 44-43.
In today's games which will be played at Meridian Community College, Noxubee County takes on Heidelberg at 4 p.m. and Meridian plays Quitman at 7.
Meridian 65
Heidelberg 60
For much of their game, you couldn't be sure which team came in with one loss and which one came in with only one win, but two spurts in the second half carried Meridian, 7-1, to the victory.
Leading 38-34, Hairston scored six straight points in a 10-4 Lady Wildcat run as Meridian eased out to a 48-38 lead before Heidelberg got the final two points of the third quarter.
The Lady Oilers cut the gap to 50-44 in the first minute of the fourth quarter before junior Megan Mendiola started a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer with 6:32 remaining.
Alexis Clemons turned a pass from Brittany Davidson into a basket at the 6:03 mark and Courtney Wade made a layup 38 seconds later for a 57-44 Meridian advantage.
Heidelberg scored 16 of the last 24 points to cut the final margin to five points.
Hairston had 10 points in the first quarter, 14 in the second, and 10 in the third. She hit three 3-point baskets and was 7-of-8 at the free-throw line.
Meridian also got eight points apiece from Clemons and Wade and five from Mendiola.
Heidelberg, 1-6, got 23 points from Princess Bender, 13 from Shawana Stevens, 10 from Catina Fowler, and eight from Misty Dale.
Quitman 44
Noxubee County 43
Quitman got off to a sluggish start, but outscored Noxubee in each of the final three periods to take the one-point win.
Noxubee led 17-6 after one quarter only to have Quitman rally to within 28-23 by halftime. The Lady Panthers trailed 35-32 to start the fourth quarter.
Junior Mashana Bonner hit two 3-pointers in leading Quitman, 7-3, with 17 points. Junior Kemonica McGee had 14 and senior Shaquilla Mack tossed in seven.
Katrina Jamison hit four 3-pointers in leading Noxubee, 7-4, with 15 points. Stephanie Stewart and Brittany Tate added six points each.