The Meridian Star
A good defense equals a good offense.
That was the case for the defending 6A state champion Forest Hill Lady Patriots on Friday night against Meridian.
Behind a a stingy second half defense the Lady Patriots dominated the Lady Wildcats 49-35 to punch their ticket to the 6A state tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Forest Hill (28-2), ranked No. 2 in Super 10 and No. 1 in 6A, will play Harrison Central tonight at 6 p.m. for the top seed heading to the Big House.
"I knew our seniors were gonna step and play big for us tonight," said third-year Forest Hill coach Tangela Banks. "We were not going to lose this game tonight."
The Lady Patriots man-to-man defense just took over in the second half. Forest Hill didn't allow Meridian to score their first basket of the fourth quarter until 3:30 remaining.
"I knew we was going to be fine with the type of defense we run because it throws their offense off," Banks said. "Now we just another step away from defending our state title."
Alexis Collins led Forest Hill with 14 points, while Anissa Jackson and Claresa Banks each chipped in 11 points a-piece.
"We knew coming in from the start we had to play good defense for us to win," Banks said.
Jackson agreed. "We came out ready to play tonight," she said. "We just did not want our season to end tonight."
Dandy Dozen junior forward Kayla Gordon led Meridian (24-5), ranked No. 8 in Super 10 and No. 5 in 6A, with 16 points.
"When our bigs are not scoring we are in trouble," Meridian coach Patricia Wilson said. "But we got just about everybody back next year so we will be fine."