MERIDIAN – With their postseason possibilities hanging in the balance, the Meridian girls basketball team could not overcome 21st-ranked Goldthwaite as District 10-2A’s second place Lady Eagles soared to a impressive 64-38 win in the regular season finale last Tuesday.
Senior Reese Errington scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds while senior Dakota Cassidy tossed in 12 points in the loss. Senior Jada Crawford pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, senior Jalen Clifton dished out four assists and senior Mallory Paruszewski led Meridian (1-7 in district, 15-15 overall) with five steals.
“I’m really going to miss these awesome senior girls,” Meridian girls basketball head coach Jill Kendall said. “They played their hearts out this whole season. They have left some tough shoes to fill. They will be missed.
“I believe that the underclassmen will step up and do great things next year in a better district for us. I’m super proud of all my girls and going to miss all of them.”
In a thrilling nail-biter against third place DeLeon Feb. 7, the Lady Jackets fell just short in the final seconds for a heartbreaking 39-38 loss to the Lady Bearcats.
With the loss to DeLeon (4-4, 15-15), the Lady Jackets needed a victory over district runner-up Goldthwaite (6-2, 25-6) last Tuesday, while fourth place Hico suffered a 36-28 loss to district champion and 20th-ranked Santo (7-1, 22-9) to force a tiebreaker between Hico (2-6, 20-9) and Meridian for the final playoff berth. The Lady Bearcats clinched third place with their win over the Lady Jackets.
Two of the four District 10-2A postseason qualifiers advanced to the Area playoffs with wins in the Bi-District round as Santo got past Quanah, 50-32, and Goldthwaite eliminated Windthorst, 43-35, while Seymour knockout out Hico, 38-32, and Archer City sent DeLeon packing, 46-32.
In the Area Playoffs Friday, 21st-ranked Goldthwaite will face 12th-ranked Muenster (30-4) at 6:30 p.m. in Aledo, while Santo takes on 14th-ranked Era (22-11) at 6:30 p.m. at Chisholm Trail High School.
Photos by WENDY OROZCO & SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS