Carlynton senior Meredith provides heart of girls basketball team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Carlynton girls basketball coach Tim Bonner said his squad's box scores can be a bit deceiving.
Sure, names like Conor Richardson and Jordan Melko are regularly listed as players scoring in double digits. But what isn't listed is the role that senior forward Jazmyn Meredith plays night-in and night-out.
“What people don't realize she is the heart and soul of the team.” Bonner said. “Our defense is pretty tough, and she is the one in the middle communicating with everyone. She is the glue of this team.
“We have some pretty good basketball players, but you need the glue to keep them together.”
Meredith's biggest role on the team is the presence she provides in the paint. If the Cougars need someone to come up with a big rebound on either side of the court, Meredith is usually the player who steps up.
It is a role she has filled for the last four seasons and she couldn't enjoy it more.
“I love battling in the paint for the rebound,” Meredith said. “Without rebounds you cannot win a game.”
Her presence under the basket has been a constant for Carlynton over the last four seasons when stability wasn't always guaranteed. As a freshman, Meredith was on the Cougars squad that went 12-10 under the guidance of Cayll Smith One year later, Rich Griffin took over the program and led the team to another 12-10 season.
When Meredith was a junior, the team had its third coach in as many seasons when Bonner took over the program. But the veteran coach came in and provided a much needed foundation for the team. After reaching the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons in 2012-13, the team carried the momentum into this year and has reached a 15-3 mark.
The years of work paid off last week as the Cougars captured their first section title since the 2004-05 season with a 65-25 win over Freedom.
“I would have never expected this my freshman year,” Meredith said. “To see where we were when I was in ninth grade to now and the fact I am leaving as a section champion is incredible. It is the most amazing feeling.”
But the many highs Meredith and the Cougars are reaching this season haven't come without lows. The team's only other senior — guard Hannah Murray — was lost for the season to a torn ACL that required surgery. As big of a blow as it was to the team, it was particularly hard for Meredith who described Murray as her partner in crime.
“She has been my best friend since third grade,” Meredith said. “We played together every year. She always suited up right next to me. It was a hard loss on and off the court. I want her to be out there with me.”
While the team was stunned by the loss of Murray, Bonner felt relief in having a senior like Meredith on the roster.
“When we lost (Murray), I thanked my lucky stars we had (Meredith),” Bonner said. “She isn't afraid to step up and say, ‘Let's get it done.' I have a lot of faith in her to make the right calls defensively.”
With Section 6-AA in hand, the Cougars look to continue their success in the postseason. While the team is feeling confident heading into the playoffs, it knows it cannot take any opponent for granted.
“We're confident, not cocky,” Meredith said. “We have the confidence to take us into the playoffs and drive us to win. It will be a challenge, but we're ready to work hard.”
Carlynton wraps up its Section 6-AA schedule with a trip to Sto-Rox tonight, Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ford City boys basketball coach brings winning personality for final season
- Fox Chapel boys basketball team will rely on rotation for scoring
- Apollo-Ridge basketball wants fast pace this season
- New Foxes girls coach O’Shea inherits talented team
- Area basketball coaches start preparing teams
- East Allegheny boys basketball team ready for fresh start in Class AA
- East Allegheny girls basketball team embraces new outlook