RACINE, Ohio — Wire-to-wire for win No. 1.
The Meigs girls basketball team opened its season with a 51-38 victory over host Southern on Wednesday night, never trailing in the non-conference win.
The Lady Marauders (1-0) scored the game’s opening bucket 11 seconds into play and led 5-1 two minutes later. The Lady Tornadoes (1-1) claimed five of the next seven points, but Meigs ended the opening quarter with a 7-to-2 run for a 14-8 advantage.
SHS got back to within three points in the second period, but a buzzer-beating trifecta by Bre Lilly extended the Lady Marauder lead to 19-13 at halftime.
The Maroon and Gold started the second half with an 11-0 run and led by a game-high 17 points, at 30-13, with four minutes left in the third quarter. Southern trimmed five points off of its deficit by the end of the period, and went into the finale down 35-23.
SHS never made it closer than 11 in the fourth quarter, as Meigs claimed its first win of the year by a 51-38 count.
Following the 13-point triumph, MHS first-year head coach Heath Hudson noted that it was good to finally get that first game in, and gave credit to the Lady Tornadoes for the improvements made.
“The girls have worked really hard, it feels good to get out on the court, getting away from just practicing and going at each other,” Hudson said. “Southern is a much improved team from the summer when we played them, they have a good start at a good season for them. We’re a young group and any bit of experience we can get is going to help us in the long run.”
For Southern, first-year head coach Ron Quillen commended his team’s effort, and acknowledged some areas that need improvement.
“If we keep giving a good effort, we’re going to be in a lot of ball games.” Quillen said. “The obvious thing is we have to make more shots, we were 4-of-37 in the first half. We’re back here on Monday, Belpre’s going to bring a pretty good team down, we’re just going to have to defend a little better and get the ball in the hole. I have to do a better job preparing the girls to play.”
For the game, Meigs shot 18-of-42 (42.9 percent) from the field, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) from three-point range, while Southern made 12-of-61 (19.7 percent) field goal attempts, including 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) three-point tries. Both teams tried 22 free throws, with MHS making 12 for 54.5 percent and SHS sinking 13 for percent.
The Purple and Gold won the rebounding battle by a 36-to-30 count, including 16-to-6 on the offensive end. The Lady Marauders finished with 13 assists, 10 steals, five blocked shots and 20 turnovers, while the Lady Tornadoes had 17 steals, eight assists, two rejections and 16 turnovers.
Mallory Hawley led the guests with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Lilly came up with 12 points, including a game-best two trifectas in the win, Olivia Haggy added seven points, while Rylee Lisle finished with six points, seven rebounds and three assists. Jerrica Smith and Hannah Durst scored four points each for Meigs, with Smith also recording three assists.
Leading the Lady Marauder defense, Lisle had three steals and two blocks, and Hawley had three blocks and two steals.
Southern was led Kayla Evans with a dozen points. Baylee Wolfe and Jordan Hardwick scored nine apiece, with Wolfe recording team-highs of 13 rebounds and three assists, and Hardwick grabbing nine rebounds. Lily Allen had three points for the Purple and Gold, Ella Cooper and Phoenix Cleland scored two apiece, while Shelby Cleland ended with one marker.
Hardwick led the SHS defense with eight steals and a block, followed by Phoenix Cleland with three steals, and Shelby Cleland with two steals and a block.
Both teams open play in their respective leagues on Monday, with Meigs visiting Athens, and Southern hosting Belpre.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.