Oak Grove knocks off Meridian in surprising 66-52 road win

By JESSE JOHNSON,

The Oak Grove boys basketball team went into a hostile environment Tuesday and knocked off No. 3 Meridian in a key divisional matchup, giving Oak Grove sole possession of first place in district play.

After a 42-point performance by Oak Grove’s Jay Barnes against Petal last Friday, Oak Grove Coach LaRon Brumfield said Meridian directed all of their attention against the sharpshooter. But with the continued emergence of senior Blake Roberts and junior Dylan Brumfield – along with an impressive defensive performance dominating the boards - it was enough for the Warriors to escape a tough road game with a 66-52 win.

“We knew they would come out trying to contain Jay,” Brumfield said. “I was proud of our defensive play and how our guys responded. They played to win.”

After going back and forth for much of the first quarter, the two powerhouse 6A teams ended the quarter tied 16-16.

Meridian came out on fire to start the second quarter and went on a 7-0 run before Oak Grove answered back with a run of their own. The two teams went into the locker room at halftime with Meridian leading 31-30.

Brumfield’s team began gaining momentum in the second half, undeterred by Meridian’s pressure play. By the end of the third quarter, Oak Grove had a comfortable lead, but Meridian surged again to start the fourth to cut the lead within seven