Meridian boys dominate on way to title

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 27, 2004
The Meridian High School boys basketball team dominated the opening minutes of each half en route to winning its State Games of Mississippi semifinal matchup with Wayne County on Saturday night in its home gym.
The Wildcats defeated the War Eagles 61-53 to advance to today's gold medal game at Meridian Community College against Durant at 3 p.m.
The Wildcats opened Saturday night's game on a 10-2 run, forcing the War Eagles to use a timeout in the first two minutes.
After Wayne County cut Meridian High's lead to 32-30 at the end of the first half, the Wildcats charged out of the gates again in the second half.
Meridian High outscored Wayne County 11-4 for a 43-34 lead with 11:40 to play. Wildcats guard Colby Davis capped the opening run in the second half by knocking down three free throws after he was fouled behind the free-throw line.
Davis led the Wildcats scoring efforts with a game-high 17, and Chris Leggett tallied 14. Maurice Naylor and Anouk Jackson each scored 10.
Meridian High played without regular front court starters Cyrus McGowan and Cornelius Miles. Both players were in Jackson on Saturday night.
Gerardo Poole scored a team-high 14 for Wayne County, and James Evans and David Howard each tallied 11.
Meridian High is playing in its third straight gold medal game in the State Games. The Wildcats won the gold in their previous two trips and have won the title four of the last six years.
Meridian 80
Quitman 39
Meridian High wrapped up pool play with a perfect 3-0 mark after defeating Quitman in the Wildcats' gym on Saturday.
Cyrus McGowan and Chris Leggett each tallied 15 points for Meridian High, and Anthony Brown added 11. Jamien Robinson scored 15 for Quitman, and Cordero Laphand added eight.
Meridian 69
Wayne County 34
Prior to playing in the semifinal game, Meridian High and Wayne County met in a cross-pool game at the Wildcats' gym. The Wildcats' reserve players got the best of the War Eagles' junior varsity squad in the meeting.
Leggett scored 26 points to lead Meridian High's offense, and A.J. Brown and Jackson scored 13 and 11, respectively. Bryson Brewer scored 11 points for Wayne County.
Wayne County 59
Meridian II 38
Wayne County took a 33-10 lead into halftime and never looked back against Meridian High School II squad in a game at Meridian Community College.
Gerardo Poole scored a team-high 16 points for the War Eagles, and James Evans tallied 10. Wayne County completed pool play with a 3-0 record.
Bay 60
Meridian II 57
Bruce Pope's 16 points for Meridian II wasn't enough to lead the Wildcats over Bay High School at MCC. Braxton Rockwell scored 14 for Bay.
Northeast Lauderdale 54
Quitman 39
The Northeast Lauderdale Trojans finished the State Games tournament on a positive note when the team switched gyms to take on Quitman.
The Trojans, who played their first three games of the tournament at MCC, tallied a win over the Panthers.
Ramero Osby scored a team-high 18 for the Trojans, and Maurice Langston and Tommy Tillman each tallied eight. Laphand scored 20 for Quitman, and Cord Buxton added 11.
Noxubee County 67
Northeast Lauderdale 61
Two opposing players scored 25 points each, as Noxubee County edged out Northeast Lauderdale 67-61 at MCC on Saturday.
Laquintas Horne tallied 25 points for Noxubee, and Maurice Langston mirrored the scoring total for Northeast.
James Patterson tallied 11 points for Noxubee, and Brian Joiner added 10. Alex Ford scored 13 points for Northeast, and Ramero Osby tallied nine.
Bay High 74
West Lauderdale 73
Bay High School edged out West Lauderdale in overtime by a single point in Meridian High's gym on Saturday.
After finishing regulation tied at 68, Bay out scored West 6-5 in overtime.
Braxton Rockwell led Bay's offense with 17, and Joseph Yates scored 13. Lorenzo Lewis tallied 12, and Brent Robinson added 10.
Daniel Huggins led West's offense with a game-high 29 points, and Mark Ford and Tony Jones scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Noxubee County 48
West Lauderdale 47
LaQuintas Horne scored a game-high 18 points to lead Noxubee County to a one-point win over West Lauderdale at MCC.
Huggins scored a team-high 14 points for West, and Jones and Ford each tallied nine points.

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