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November 8, 2011By Hilary Allen of MERIDIAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
For the Meridian Community College women’s basketball team, watching Copiah-Lincoln celebrate a Region 23 Championship last season was a bittersweet pill to swallow. However, with a new season comes new opportunities and, for the Lady Eagles, the time is now.
“We were extremely disappointed last year,” MCC coach Hilary Allen said. “But through disappointment comes resolve. Each member of this team has worked harder to make this a better team.”
The Lady Eagles finished the 2010 season with 27 victories and was led by one of the better freshman classes in the region. In 2011, those freshman are now sophomores and make the Lady Eagles a favorite to repeat as Miss-Lou Conference Champions.
“Having four sophomores in the starting lineup is a big plus,” Allen added. “Having more sophomores coming off the bench with 33 games experience is a big plus as well.”
The Lady Eagles come into the season led by former Northeast Lauderdale star Norianna Haynes, who averaged 20 points per game as a freshman. Haynes finished the 2010 season as an All-American honorable mention. Joining Haynes on the court this year is Miss-Lou Conference MVP Chasity Kearney, who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds, Arnissa Galloway, who averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Kia Norris. Norris missed the first half of last season because of eligibility issues but came on board for the second half of the year.
Joining the sophomores is another talented freshman class led by Gelese Lampton from Hattiesburg and Ashtin McNichols from Newton High School.
The Lady Eagles are scheduled to open the home portion of its 2011-2012 season against Alabama Southern November 7 at Graham Gymnasium. The MCC women are set to tip-off at 6 p.m.