VETERAN INITIATIVE: Strong senior class leads Lady Jacket hoops

in Girls Basketball

MERIDIAN – Despite a strong showing in the Hamilton Tournament, the Meridian Lady Jacket girls basketball team suffered back-to-back tough losses before the Thanksgiving break. So after taking a week off for the holiday, the Lady Jackets look forward to getting back to work today when they travel to Iredell for a 6 p.m. non-district contest.

Playing in the Hamilton Tournament Nov. 21-23, the Lady Jackets (4-4) opened with a thrilling 40-39 overtime victory over Bosque County arch-rival Valley Mills. Meridian jumped out to a commanding 17-6 first period advantage, but Valley Mills used strong showings in the second and fourth quarters to battle back and force overtime.

Senior Dakota Cassidy led Meridian with 14 points and five rebounds, followed by senior Jada Crawford with 11 points and six rebounds, and senior Reese Errington with 10 points.

“The Lady Jackets played hard despite losing two players during the game to ankle injuries,” Meridian girls basketball head coach Jill Kendall said. “I’m very proud of the effort all the girls gave.”

Meridian went on to post convincing wins over Gustine, 60-15, and Rochelle, 43-22, before closing out the tournament with a 64-41 loss to Cross Plains.

Against Gustine, Mallory Paruszewski pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds, dished out three assists, grabbed three steals and tossed in seven points, while Crawford came up with 10 rebounds, five steals and five deflections against Rochelle. Despite the loss to Cross Plains, Elyse Herrera showed some grit and determination with seven points and six rebounds.

The Lady Jackets opened the season Nov. 12 with a solid 43-34 road win over Axtell as Cassidy scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds while Meridian started fast and held on for the win.

“I’m very proud of the effort given by all of the Lady Jackets in their season opener with Axtell,” Kendall said. “The seniors led extremely well with their expertise. Newcomer McKenzie Hicks really stepped up and did a great job for her first varsity game ever.”


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