The Meridian Community College Lady Eagles are set to open the 2014 Region 23 Women’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday afternoon at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College. MCC will begin play in the tournament Wednesday against Baton Rouge Community College. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. between the Lady Eagles and the Lady Bears.
The opening round game will showcase a pair of teams that once competed against each other on a regular basis when MCC was a part of the Miss-Lou Conference. The Lady Bears will carry a 21-6 overall record into the tournament, while MCC will begin play in Clinton with a 2013-2014 record of 19-7. The Lady Bears will enter the tournament having won eight of its last nine games, while MCC is looking to rebound from elimination in the MACJC State Tournament last week in Fulton, MS. The only two setbacks for BRCC in conference play this season came at the hands of LSU-Eunice who is also a part of the tournament.
MCC is led by a pair of super sophomores that will look to pace the Lady Eagles on offense. Former Jackson Provine star Kristin Sampson has been one of the driving forces behind the success of the Lady Eagles this season and has averaged 20 points per contest. Sampson was also named the MACJC Women’s Player of the Week last week after leading MCC to a pair of victories to close the regular season. Former Neshoba Central star Victoria Stewart has also had a fabulous season for the Lady Eagles and has averaged 14 points per game and four assists a game.
“They have both been exceptional leaders for us this season,” said McGilberry. “They really are not the typical vocal leaders, but they show those actions on the court with their play. They both played a lot of minutes for our team last season and they bring a lot of experience into this tournament. We know that leadership will be very important this week from both of these players.”
MCC has proved to be dangerous at times with its great perimeter play, but the emergence of Miaya Crowder in the post has been a great addition to the lineup this season for the Lady Eagles. The freshman from Decatur, GA has averaged 14 points per game this season for the Lady Eagles and has pulled down at least 10 rebounds per contest. Crowder also had two solid performances in the State Tournament with more than 20 points in each game in Fulton last week for the green and white.
“She (Crowder) is a very talented player and she has had a great season,” added McGilberry. “I still believe there are a few hidden things in her game that we are still trying to get out of her. She has been a very good presence for us inside this season and I am very proud of the season that she has had for our team.”
Baton Rouge is led by sophomore guard Ashley Williams who had averaged close to 20 points a game, while guard Rosa Bryant has averaged 15 points a contest the season for the Lady Bears. Bryant has also been a force for Baton Rouge by pulling down 10 rebounds a contest.
The opening round game between MCC and Baton Rouge will be broadcasted on radio Wednesday afternoon by simply tuning to 106.9 FM.