Northwest Regional: Cox leads South Lamar past Meek

Stallions pull away in fourth quarter

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 2/16/18

Down a point to Meek at the half Friday night, South Lamar turned to Malik Cox.

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Northwest Regional: Cox leads South Lamar past Meek

Stallions pull away in fourth quarter

Posted

Down a point to Meek at the half Friday night, South Lamar turned to Malik Cox.

The 6-foot-6 center put the Stallions on his back, carrying the team to a 58-46 victory over the Tigers in their Class 1A semifinal at the Northwest Regional Tournament in Hanceville.

Cox scored 15 ponts in the third quarter alone, connecting on three 3-pointers. He finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Stallions, who are chasing their second straight Northwest Regional title.

Meek’s Payton Key knocked down a 3-pointer to open the third quarter, giving the Tigers a 25-21 lead. That’s when the Stallions took over.

Cox scored 11 points in a 15-2 run that gave South Lamar a comfortable 36-27 advantage with 2:30 left in the third period. Meek got as close as four points only to have the Stallions close the quarter with a 6-0 run for a 42-32 lead going into the fourth.

Meek, playing in the Northwest Regional for the first time in eight years, led by as many as 10 points in the first half, thanks to a 3-point barrage by Key.

Meek led 12-8 after the opening quarter and pushed the lead to 18-8 following a 3-pointer by Kevin Chino at the six-minute mark.

South Lamar battled back to take a 21-20 lead late in the first half. Meek’s Caleb Aaron knocked down two free throws for a 22-21 halftime lead.

Key, who finished 4 of 9 from behind the 3-point arc, finished with 14 points and six rebounds for Meek, Jacob Woodard added eight points, both Chino and Caleb Aaron had six points, Luke Sherer added four, Lane Phillips and Haydon Twilley had three points and John Mark Abercrombie had two.

The game was a far cry from last year’s sub-region game — a 113-61 South Lamar win.

The Stallions (20-6) face R.A. Hubbard at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday in the regional championship game. R.A. Hubbard advanced with a 66-51 victory over Belgreen on Friday.

The Tigers finish the season at 25-6 under first-year Meek coach Allan Henderson. The team won Winston County and Class 1A, Area 12 tournament titles.