By Becki Creed
This Friday at 7 p.m. the Meridian High School Varsity Girls Basketball team opens its bid for the state championship with a Class 3 State Finals opening round game. If they win this Friday, they will play another home game Monday night.
Last Friday, the Mustang team clinched the Region 3B championship, beating Brentsville District 67-22 before a sellout crowd at the Meridian gym.
The team was led by leading scorer Junior Elizabeth Creed (25 points), Junior Peyton Jones (14 points), and Senior Zoraida Icabalceta (12 points). Icabalceta reached the 1,000 point milestone in her career as a Mustang.
Following up on last year’s historic undefeated season (District, Region, and State Champions), the Meridian High School Varsity Girls Basketball team (currently 22-1) is chasing after another Class 3 State Championship.
The Mustangs’ stifling defense has earned them victories over much larger local schools in non-district play, including West Springfield, Fairfax, Falls Church, and Washington-Liberty. In December, the girls beat Spotswood 43-30, the same team that they beat last year to win the State title. And most recently, in mid February, they beat Class 6 power Alexandria City 63-54.
After going undefeated during district play (9-0), the Mustangs have won both the Northwestern District Championship and the Region 3B Championship again.
In the Region final last Friday night, Meridian beat Brentsville District 67-22 in front of its largest (and most boisterous) home crowd of the season. Junior Elizabeth Creed led all scorers with 25 points.
Junior Peyton Jones added 14 points, Senior Zoraida Icabalceta with 12 points, Senior Bella Paradiso with 6 points, Seniors Megan Tremblay and Sydney Longer with 4 points each, and Senior Rianna Arsenault with 2 points. With her 12 points, Icabalceta surpassed the 1,000 point milestone in her career as a Mustang, which was recognized during the game with a stoppage of play and presentation of a commemorative game ball in honor of her achievement. Icabalceta has committed to play basketball for Ithaca College next year.
As Region 3B Champion, the Mustangs will host the State Quarter-Final on Friday March 4th at 7:00 in the Mustang Gym. They will take on the No. 2 seed from Region 3A (the loser of the New Kent – Lakeland game which was scheduled to be played on Tuesday, March 1).
If the Mustangs win the State Quarter-Final, they will host the State Semi-Final on Monday March 7. The Class 3 State Championship game is scheduled for Thursday March 10 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center, in Richmond.