Late Meridian run drops Dublin in opener under Helton

Carey Belew, left, scored 16 points for Dublin Monday, matching Amber James for the team lead in a 59-48 season opening loss to Meridian at Roy and Lynn Neff Gym. || photo by BRAD KEITH


DUBLIN (November 9, 2015) — Dublin showed its resiliency under Britney Helton Monday evening, but the Lady Lions couldn’t give their new head coach a win to begin the season.

They did fight back from a nine-point halftime deficit and even took a brief lead in the fourth quarter, but Meridian immediately followed with 14 straight points and ultimately beat Dublin, 59-48.

Dublin outscored Meridian 12-7 in the third quarter, pulling within four before Meridian stretched its lead back to 43-35 with the opening four points of the fourth.

The Lady Lions responded with an 11-1 run, taking a 46-44 lead when Amber James drained a 3-pointer from just right of the top of the key with 3:55 remaining. James also had a free throw during the run that began with a Carey Belew fast break layup off a takeaway. Post Faith Faulkner also scored four during the late surge.


But Meridian had an even later one, beginning with Krista Warren knocking down a jumper, then taking a steal in for a layup and a 48-46 Meridan lead with 3:23 remaining. Warren led all scorers with 19.

A pair of free throws pushed Meridian ahead by four, and after a stop at the other end, one of the referees blew play dead for an injury to Meridian guard Abby Stoufer. By rule, Stoufer should have gone to the bench, at least until the next whistle. But the ref allowed Stoufer to stay in the game and she took full advantage.

Stoufer scored 12, six of them and an assist coming after being allowed to stay on the court. Her final four points came just six seconds apart to push Meridian to a comfortable 58-46 lead with 1:47 left.

Dublin trailed 18-10 before an 11-3 run to tie the score at 21 midway through the second, but Meridian, as it did the whole way, had an answer. After a bucket inside to stop the Dublin run, Meridian hit back to back 3-pointers for a 30-21 lead and each team added another bucket before intermission.

Faulkner finished with the four points in the fourth, Carley Belew also addd four, Mica Muro three, London Jones three and Whitney Weems two for Dublin.

Helton, a Stephenville native, was hired by Dublin in June to replace Arianna Rodriguez, who left for 4A Center. Helton played at Texas Wesleyan, was an assistant coach at Boyd and most recently led the Fair Hill private school team.

Advertisement photos by BRAD KEITH

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