From start to finish, Meridian boys basketball coach Randy Bolden was animated along the sideline.
He barked out plays, pleaded for foul calls and stomped his foot when assignments were missed.
The actual on-the-court action, however, was much more relaxing. Much, much more.
Meridian, ranked No. 4 in The Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10, cruised to a 63-27 victory on Tuesday over Petal in the first round of the Region 5-6A District Tournament at Brandon.
Meridian (24-5) advances to the district championship on Friday. Petal (5-23) will also play Friday in a consolation game.
“We can’t let up,” Bolden said. “We have to stay hungry. This is just the beginning. We still have a long road ahead.”
Meridian held at 16-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The fast offensive start was led by Ledarius Brewer and Kenderrick Pringle, who both scored six points in the period. Joel Baskin, the Wildcats’ 3-point threat, hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” Brewer said. “We knew we wanted to start fast and really take their energy away early, and we did just that.”
At the start of the second quarter, Meridian’s starters played only sparingly.
“I think my starters played nine minutes,” Bolden said. “But they came to play early.”
At halftime, nine of Meridian’s 13 players had scored. By the game’s end, 10 had registered at least two points.
“This is a momentum booster for us,” Brewer said. “We came out really sharp and it’s a good way to start (tournament) play.”
Provine 50, Jim Hill 49: Dandy Dozen selection Jerekius Davis led all scorers with 16 points to lift Provine to a 50-49 win over Jim Hill on Tuesday in the Region 6-6A District Tournament at Forest Hill. Provine’s Enrique Milton also chipped in 10 points. Jim Hill was fronted by Eric Vaughan’s 10 points.
Dexter 72, Stringer 61: Dexter’s Kyron Hutchinson and Terrion Bell both logged 20-plus performances to guide their squad to a 72-61 win over Stringer on Tuesday at in the Region 8-1A District Tournament at Salem. Hutchinson recorded 26 points, while Bell added 21. Stringer was led by Sedric Wheaton’s 20 points.
Columbus 69, Northwest Rankin 39: Columbus had two players reach double-digits in scoring en route to a 69-39 win over Northwest Rankin in the Region 3-6A District Tournament on Tuesday. Columbus’ Roykila Wallace led all scorers with 19.
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