FRIEND – The Friend girls basketball team got off to an early lead and survived a late rally Thursday to beat #6 Meridian 57-47.
The Lady Bulldogs led by double digits for much of the game, with the lead growing to as much as 21 points in the third quarter, but Meridian opened the fourth on a 13-0 run to cut the deficit all the way down to four.
Friend was able to recover and hold onto the lead though, behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from Raeleigh Menke and 16 points and 10 boards for Brooke Baugh. Erin Johnson paced Meridian with 19 points and Allison Klipp added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Meridian snaps a four game winning streak and will await the winner of Deshler and McCool Junction as the #1 seed at subdistricts Tuesday. Friend will host Diller-Odell Friday night before heading to subdistricts as the #3 seed and facing Bruning-Davenport/Shickley.
In the boys game Friend only had six players in uniform including just two of their regular starters, but were able to pull away late to beat Meridian 40-28.
The Bulldogs had just a one point lead at halftime, but were able to extend the margin to seven by the end of the third quarter and used solid defense to close out the game late.
Darren Segner and Jay Lawver accounted for all of Friend’s points with Segner posting 22 and eight rebounds while Lawver finished with 18 points and 11 boards. For Meridian, Isaiah Ellis and Garret Klipp finished with identical lines of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Friend improves to 11-10 and will host Diller-Odell Friday. Meridian is now 1-18 and travels to Exeter-Milligan on Saturday.