PREP BASKETBALL: Meek edges Addison 71-64 to claim area title

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Meek defeated Addison 71-64 Friday night to win this year's 1A, Area 13 Championship. (Courtesy of Lexie Luker)

ARLEY, Ala. – Addison traveled to Meek to take on the Area 13 Regular season champs and to see if they could knock them off for the first time in four tries. Addison came up a bit short as the Tigers controlled the second half and won an excellent game 71-64.  Meek, as winners of the Area tournament, will now host Lynn while Addison will travel to Marion County.

The Meek Gym was at standing room only capacity and it was loud. It actually had the atmosphere of a football game, both sides were in full throat and to be honest neither team is fond of the other. Throw in that Meek has beaten Addison three times this year, two blowouts and one extremely close game, and you have a wonderful setup for revenge for the Bulldogs. This game was football like in another way, it was a rough tough bodies on the floor type of game and it was wonderful. Both teams played extremely hard and were a credit to their two coaches, Meek’s Bryan Woods and Addison’s Scott Flynn.

The first period was a back and forth affair with neither team able to pull away. The largest lead by either team was only 4 and that didn’t last long. Except for a few three pointers this game was played in the lane and would be played there all night. At the end of the first period the score was tied at 17 and we were just getting started. Addison was led by “Lanky” Jake McLamb with 6 points on two three-pointers and Brady Gilbreath had three points of his own. Jed “Wizard” Wilkins and Gilbreath each had 2 rebounds to lead Addison. Meek was led by Braxton Dickerson who drilled two three-pointers of his own. Braylen “The Beast” Roberts had 5 points while Ory Firth chipped in four as well.

The second period had Addison getting the crowd really involved as they were able to win the period 18-14 to take a 35-31 lead into the half. The momentum seemed to be with the Bulldogs and things looked well for the visitors. Addison came out smoking in the third as they built their lead up to 47-42 with a beautiful Gilbreath up and under layup to give the Dawgs the 5-point lead. Then Addison went on a little run and took a 51-44 lead with only 1:30 seconds to go in the third.  Meek then closed the last few seconds of the third on a 6-0 run to cut the Addison lead down to 51-50 going into the final period. Meek did this with pressure defense forcing Addison into several mistakes and turnovers. Addison was led in the period by Josh “West Coast” Netherton who had 6 points both of them being treys. Gilbreath and Briley “Snake” Hayes put in three apiece for the Dawgs. Lane “Duct Tape” Tubb led Addison with 2 rebounds. The Tigers were led by Roberts who had 7 points and 3 boards in the period. Ethan Barton had 7 big points as well, most of them coming on Meeks end of the period run.

The fourth and final period had Meek taking control of the game. Meek took their first lead in quite a while at the 3:00 minute mark of the fourth as they lead 59-57. The Tigers would never trail again. Addison would tie it up on a long three-pointer from Wilkins at 60. For the next two minutes both teams would swap baskets until Meek lead 66 to 62 with only 1:09 to go. Meek’s Jarrett Benson, who was playing injured, scored a basket and nailed three free throws to give Meek the final score of 71-64. Meek hit 11 out of 14 free throws in the final period to give the Tigers the victory in what was a very good basketball game.

The biggest difference in the game were the mount of free throws attempted, Meek hit 15 out of 29 while the Bulldogs went 9 for 15 in the game. Meek’s last 8 free throw attempts were, in fairness, shot when Addison had to foul the Tigers.

Woods after the game,

“Addison played us tough, very tough. Our plan was to attack them, and the basketball and they got after us. They came out and we weren’t ready for it. They played really well and had us playing off our game the first half. Credit to Coach (Scott) Flynn he does a great job with those kids. We finally settled down in the second half and we were able to withstand that Addison run that got them up 7 or 8 points on us. Our young men dug deep and found the strength to persevere. We started going inside to Braylen (Roberts) in the third and then Jarrett (Benson) just took over in the fourth. I think that our kids learned that there will be ups and downs during the game and that came from playing a really tough schedule this year. I firmly believe that our schedule helped us become the team that we are today. You play tough teams, even though you may lose some, you should get better, and we did. We will host Lynn this Monday and we are going to have to play hard or harder to win that one because it is a county school and rival and if you lose there isn’t a tomorrow. Just want to say again, how proud I am of our team, school and community. Go Tigers!”

Unofficial stats

Addison was led in scoring by Gilbreath with 16 points, 4 boards, 2 assists and a steal. Netherton had 13 points and 3 rebounds. Wilkins had 13 points, 8 boards, 1 assist and 2 steals. McLamb had 11 points, 2 boards and a steal. Hayes had 7 points, 5 boards and 3 assists. Bradley “Big Foot” Willette had 4 points, 3 boards, 2 assists and 1 steal. Tubb had 2 boards and 2 assists.

Meek was led in scoring by Roberts with a game high 19 points and 9 rebounds. Benson had 12 points and 3 boards. Barton had 9 points and 1 rebound. Firth had 8 points and 6 boards. Dylan Dunagan had 6 points and 5 boards. Dickerson had 6 points and 2 boards. Cam Deaver had 7 points and 4 rebounds.

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