Meridian blows out Tupelo to return to 6A championship

JACKSON, Miss. -- Almost one year ago, Meridian saw its 2017-2018 season come to an end with a losing effort to Columbus in the 6A championship game.

Now, the 'Cats will have their chance at redemption with the gold ball on the line once again.

"Last year, we were good and it was expected," said Meridian head coach Ron Norman. "But we ran into a really, really good Columbus team. Then this year, nobody. We're playing with house money. Nobody expected us to be here. We wasn't anybody's unanimous pick,"

MHS throttled Tupelo in Wednesday's 6A semifinal matchup, dismantling the Golden Wave by a score of 64-43. The Wildcats controlled almost the entire game from the opening tip, leading on the scoreboard for over 30 minutes Wednesday night.

Shooting pushed Meridian over the top in the second half of the game, hitting 55% from the field in the final 16 minutes. Overall, the 'Cats shot 44% for the night. Tupelo shot 35% from the field, and didn't make a single three-point attempt.

Makeem Roberts led the Wildcats with 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting, grabbing four rebounds and dishing two assists. The Meridian bench stepped up in a big way as well, chipping in 24 points compared to Tupelo's four.

The victory over the Golden Wave is the 26th of the season for the Wildcats, setting up a return to the 6A championship game on Saturday.

"We're just a bunch of hardworking kids," Norman said. "They play hard, they represent Meridian well, and I'm just really, really proud of those kids."

Meridian will face Starkville at 8 p.m. in Jackson. The Yellowjackets beat the Wildcats back in November, 60-59