MERIDIAN – Looking to build some momentum after taking a 10-day break for the Christmas holiday, the Meridian Lady Jacket girls basketball team will host the Meridian Pink Out Basketball Classic this Friday-Saturday at Jacket Gymnasium.
The Lady Jackets (9-6) open the tournament with two games Friday, facing Blum at 8:30 a.m. before taking on Llano ay 4 p.m. On Saturday, the Meridian girls will battle Iowa Park at 11 a.m., then close out the girls bracket against Itasca at 6:30 p.m.
Meridian went into the break on a positive note, knocking off Italy, 66-56, in a non-district matchup Dec. 17. The Lady Jackets jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead, then held on for the win despite a strong fourth period by the Lady Gladiators.
Senior Dakota Cassidy scored a team-high 23 points, while dishing out four assists and sinking several crucial free throws down the stretch. Senior Jada Crawford turned in a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 deflections, while senior Mallory Paruszewski added six points and 13 rebounds and four steals.
With the win, the Lady Jackets rebounded from a disappointing 65-34 loss to Class 1A’s fourth-ranked Huckabay Dec. 13. Although Huckabay (16-0) built a commanding 44-11 lead before halftime, the Lady Jackets battled back in the second half. But it was too little, too late as senior Jalen Clifton led Meridian with 12 points and four steals, and Crawford pulled down six rebounds, while Cassidy and junior Norah Lira dished out five assists apiece.
“The Lady Jackets did not have a good game against Huckabay,” Meridian girls basketball head coach Jill Kendall said. “The second half was marginally better. But the Lady Jackets bounced back from Friday’s loss to Huckabay with a solid win over Italy.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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