Supporters of Mustang basketball were treated to a doubleheader on Monday night, as Meridian’s boys faced off against visiting Trinity at 5:30 and then the girls hosted McLean later on. The boys took their 3-3 record into the matchup as they looked to move back above .500, and things got off to a fast start as they scored the first sixteen points of the game, forcing several turnovers with their aggressive defense. Trinity finally got on the board with a free throw midway through the opening quarter, but the Mustangs didn’t let off the gas and took a commanding 31-7 lead into the first break.
The advantage only grew from there. Meridian scored the first ten points of the second quarter and remained ahead 45-9 at halftime. The starters were pulled for the second half, but the Mustangs continued their rout as the lead was 53-17 after three quarters, and by the time the final buzzer sounded, the home team had cruised to a resounding 69-19 victory. Daylen Martino led the way with 14 while Jarrett Jardine added ten, and thirteen different players scored at least once.
The girls’ game tipped off shortly afterwards, as they looked to continue their undefeated streak. They too started hot, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before two McLean free throws got the visitors on the board, beginning a five point run of their own to tie the game. The teams played a low scoring first quarter, remaining tied at 9-9 into the break, but the girls asserted themselves in the second period as they used a 7-0 run to take a 16-9 lead late in the half.
McLean was able to cut it to 21-16 at the intermission, and then to 23-20 early in the third, but another Mustang run gave the home team their largest lead of the game at 30-21 moments later. They remained ahead 31-25 heading into the final frame, and after the visitors converted on an and-1 to cut it to three, the Mustangs pulled away to take their first double digit advantage of the night at 38-28 with less than four minutes remaining. McLean frantically rallied with a few timely turnovers and baskets to make it a two point game in the closing seconds, but Maureen Tremblay made two clutch free throws to seal the 42-38 win. Tremblay and Elizabeth Creed both had 11 to lead the scoring.
Both the boys and girls will see their next action against Spotswood on Friday, with the boys at home and the girls on the road. Head boys’ coach Jim Smith and assistant Rusty Payne both believe this will be a tough test for the Mustangs, but they are up for the challenge.