MERIDIAN – Returning from a 10-day layoff for the Christmas holiday to host the Meridian Pink Out Basketball Classic, the Meridian Lady Jacket rallied to claim second place with a convincing 47-31 victory over Itasca Saturday afternoon at Jacket Gymnasium.
Meridian opened the round-robin tournament with a dominating 69-44 win over Blum last Friday morning. The Lady Jackets (11-8) jumped out to an early 24-15 first quarter lead, then buried the Lady Bobcats by outscoring them, 26-9, going into halftime. Meridian shot 100 percent from the free throw line in the first half, sinking 12 of 12 shots.
Senior Reese Errington scored a game-high 23 points while dishing out four assists for the Lady Jackets, followed by senior Dakota Cassidy with 12 points and five steals, along with senior Jada Crawford with nine points.
“The Lady Jackets had a great first game of the Meridian tournament,” Meridian girls basketball head coach Jill Kendall said. “They all played really well for having been off for 10 days. I was proud of the girls for taking second place in our tournament.”
But a pair of Class 4A squads proved to be too much to handle for the Lady Jackets as Llano edged Meridian, 39-36, last Friday afternoon before Iowa Park – led by former Meridian head coach Giffin Fields – dominated the Lady Jackets, 65-27, Saturday morning.
Junior Norah Lira stepped up to fill in for Cassidy, out with an ankle injury, by scoring a team-high eight points against Ilano, followed by junior Jalen Clifton with seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds, as well as Crawford with seven points and nine boards. Against Iowa Park, Errington scored a team-high 13 points.
But Meridian rebounded to knock off Itasca and close out the tournament on a positive note Saturday afternoon. Meridian built a 16-11 first quarter lead and never trailed the rest of the way as Errington tossed in a game-high 24 points, as Crawford added 14 points while leading the Lady Jackets with 11 rebounds and five assists.
With school still closed on its Winter Break, the Meridian girls travel to Ranger Tuesday for a 1 p.m. before taking on Itasca again at home Friday at 10 a.m.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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