It took a little while, but the Meigs County girls' basketball team's speed eventually caught up to Brainerd in their first-round matchup Thursday at the Best of Preps Tournament.
The Lady Tigers exploded for 29 points in the second quarter and raced off to a 72-41 win over Brainerd at Chattanooga State.
Meigs County's up-tempo style of play outpaced Brainerd for much of the first half. Aggressive defense helped the Lady Tigers make six steals in the first half, aiding a relentless offensive attack that posted 44 points by halftime.
"From the beginning, we wanted to play as fast as we could. I think they were just the first team to get tired," Meigs County coach Jason Powell said. "Because of that we stole some easy baskets in transition, had some clean looks and made some shots."
The teams traded scores in the first quarter, but frequent fouls by the Lad Panthers allowed Meigs County to take a 15-11 lead into the second quarter, which is when the Lady Tigers quickly found their rhythm.
Kassidy Kenny scored six points during a 9-0 run to begin the period, and six Lady Tigers scored baskets in the quarter, with Kenny and Ansley Wade each posting eight points to account for 16 of Meigs County's 29 second-quarter points.
For the game, Kenny led the Lady Tigers with 19 points.
The second half began with another Meigs County run, a 10-point streak as part of a 24-point third quarter for the Lady Tigers. Eight of those points came off free throws as Brainerd continued to struggle with fouls. The Lady Panthers were held to five points in the quarter, when they had trouble maintaining possession due to multiple double dribble and traveling calls.
"I just wanted to get after it and wear them down — we've got pretty good depth and got contributions from multiple players," Powell said. "We just imposed our will."
Kimia Carter led Brainerd with 20 points.
Meigs County will play Baylor tonight in the semifinals, with their meeting set for 7. Brainerd falls into the consolation bracket and will play Notre Dame today at 1 p.m.
Contact Justin Dempsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.