By Mike Dunn
Special to the Record-Eagle
MERIDAN — McBain junior point guard Meredith Hamlet generated a triple-double with 27 points, 12 boards and 11 assists as the Ramblers defeated Charlevoix 89-54 in a Class C regional semifinal at Sanford Meridian.
The Ramblers (20-2) earned a berth in the regional finals Thursday against (Beaverton or Lincoln-Alcona). This marks the sixth time in the past nine seasons that McBain has advanced to the regional title game.
Charlevoix (13-10) started the game with a full-court press and a double-team against the dangerous Hamlet but the Ramblers were able to create mismatches at the other end and score quick transition buckets. McBain gained a quick lead on the scoreboard and held it the rest of the way.
“This is Charlevoix and we knew coming in they would press us and we had to adapt to it and keep pushing the ball,” said McBain coach Todd Hamlet. “Meredith was able to split the double-team and find open teammates down the floor and that made a big difference in our ability to keep the ball moving.”
Hamlet ended up scoring 18 of her points in the first half, including four treys, and senior guard Kara Hughston scored 11 of her 13 as the Ramblers built a commanding 49-27 halftime lead.
Senior guard Maddie Barnette hit for 20 points in the game to and was a force defensively, recording seven steals. Sophomore Asia LaGrow tallied eight and senior post Katelyn Loeks scored seven to go with eight boards.
All the McBain players scored for the 10th time this season.
“The kids are playing very unselfishly and doing a lot of things right,” Hamlet said. “Everybody played well tonight. This was a really good team effort.”
Hughston issued seven assists with six rebounds. Hamlet also commended the physical play and defensive intensity of Loeks, LaGrow, Cheyenne Zuiderveen and Michaela Koopman in the paint.
Junior Madeline Boss paced the Rayders with 20 points and Kourtney Putman produced 10. Gabby Gray, the only senior on the Charlevoix roster, scored six, as did Olivia Storm.