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Lady Hounds dominate Fannindel, advance to regional quarterfinal

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, February 16, 2018.
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It has been exactly 50 years since the Slidell Lady Hounds made it to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) state tournament.

And Friday against Fannindel, Slidell took its first step to get back to San Antonio. Behind a game-high 26 points from Bailey Meyer, the Lady Hounds dominated the Lady Falcons from start to finish. Slidell never trailed in the game, and as a result, cruised to a 61-26 victory in the 1A Region III area round.

“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.”

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

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

“We played well,” 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 end in double figures. Jayden Ellison had 11 and Cate Zuniga tossed in 10.

Both Meyer and Zuniga battled ankle injuries all night, but never let it take them out of the game for an extended period. 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 win, Slidell punched its ticket to the regional quarterfinals sometime next week. The Lady Hounds will play the winner of Saltillo vs. Ector in the next round.

“[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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