MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) Entering the MHSAA Quarterfinals, seven area teams were still competing for a chance to make it to the state championship in Oxford at The Pavilion.
At the end of the quarterfinals, only two teams remain: Meridian girls and Philadelphia boys.
Both teams will be competing in the MHSAA Semifinals next week in Jackson at the Mississippi Coliseum, with both looking to advance on to compete in the state championship.
Meridian (29-1) will face Clinton (24-4) at 5:30 pm on Wednesday while Philadelphia (24-5) will take on Potts Camp (23-7) at 1:30 pm on Tuesday for their semifinal matchups.
Last season, the Lady Cats fell to Pearl 101-44 in the quarterfinals while the Tornadoes lost 79-76 to Calhoun City in the second round. But in just one season, both programs experienced a much different outcome this time around.
Meridian powered past Brandon in a Saturday evening matchup at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, winning 58-31. The Lady Cats led 41-24 through three quarters while the Lady Bulldogs struggled offensively in the second half, scoring only 14 points.
The test now for Meridian will be getting past Clinton. The two programs faced off in December with the Lady Cats winning by 20. With a trip to the state championship on the line, the stakes are much higher this time around.
Thanks to a dominant fourth quarter performance that included a 17-0 run, Philadelphia pushed their way pst St. Patrick on Friday night, winning 59-44.
St. Patrick scored off a layup to begin the final quarter and cut its deficit to 5, but the Tornadoes pulled away when it mattered most, sending the Fighting Irish packing while they advance on in the playoffs.
Both Meridian and Philadelphia get three days to prepare for their semifinal matchups in Jackson.