Basketball: Lady Hounds race to area title – Slidell advances to region quarterfinal

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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BACK-TO-BACK – Slidell’s Taylor Davis (20) hoists the Class A Region III area trophy. The Lady Hounds won the area title for the second straight year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

It has been 50 years since the Slidell Lady Hounds made it to the state basketball tournament. Last Friday against Fannindel, Slidell took its first step to get to San Antonio.

Behind a game-high 26 points from junior Bailey Meyer, the Lady Hounds dominated the Lady Falcons from start to finish. Slidell never trailed in the game, cruising to a 61-26 victory in the Class A Region III area round of the playoffs.

FIGHTING THROUGH PAIN – Bailey Meyer is fouled attempting a shot against Fannidel. Meyer scored a game-high 26 points despite rolling her ankle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“We’re kind of the underdog,” Meyer said. “When it gets into the finals and stuff, no one has ever heard of Slidell. I feel like we kind of have something to prove to ourselves and our fans.

“[Going to state] is in my mind all the time. It would be awesome, but again, everybody else wants it, too. We just have to want it bad enough and go out there and do what we know how to do.”

Slidell punched its ticket to the regional quarterfinal with the win. They played Saltillo Tuesday night in Trenton.

The Lady Hounds opened the game on a 7-0 run with 3’s from Meyer and Sydney Keating. Fannindel called a quick timeout to try and stop the bleeding, but Slidell continued to pull away.

The Lady Hounds made seven 3-pointers on the night, using swift ball movement to break down the Lady Falcons’ defense.

“We played well,” said Slidell coach Lance Shelton said. “Overall, just a solid game. This group shares the ball well. They don’t care who scores. I think it’s pretty obvious how they play.”

Slidell took a 33-11 lead into halftime and only added to it in the final two quarters. The Lady Hounds had three players, including Meyer, finish in double figures. Jayden Ellison had 11, and Cate Zuniga tossed in 10.

Meyer and Zuniga battled ankle injuries all night. Zuniga had her left ankle taped in the first half and Meyer rolled her ankle when she stepped on a Fannindel player’s foot.

When the pair were on the court together, they frequently found each other with passes that resulted in easy baskets near the rim or wide-open looks on the perimeter.

“I love Cate,” Meyer said. “She’s my go-to person. We read each other’s minds part of the time on the basketball court.”

With the victory, Slidell claimed the 1A Region III area championship for the second consecutive season.

“[We’re going to] enjoy it tonight, keep smiling a little bit tomorrow and then [we’ll] start thinking about the next game,” Shelton said.

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