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Wallace falls to Meridian

Hard times continued for a freshman-laden Wallace team in an 81-79 loss to Meridian (5-3) on Wednesday.

“It was a tough game,” said Wallace coach Ronald Lane. “We haven’t learned how to win the game in the end yet. Eventually it’s going to turn in our favor.”

A Reggie Mann layup put Wallace ahead 75-73 with 2:58 left in the game. But the Eagles quickly responded with a Patrick McCurtis 3-pointer 25 seconds later, and they would not trail the rest of the way.

“That was a big, big play,” said Lane. “I told our kids if we get a stop, we get a win.”

Ironically, McCurtis’s clutch shot came after two misses on the same possession.

Despite a 46-40 edge, Meridian coach George Brooks felt his team was outrebounded all night. But the Eagles kept rebounding on the possession and fed McCurtis the ball until he knocked the shot down.

A Kirven Lang 3-pointer with 33 seconds left cut Wallace’s deficit to 80-79, and a Meridian turnover put the Patriots (2-8) in position for the win. But Mann missed a short jump shot with 18 seconds left to end the threat.

“I think they’re a really good team,” said Brooks. “We just made a couple more shots.”

In a game often decided by a series of runs, neither team created enough separation to feel comfortable.

The Eagles earned leads of 5 and 6 points in the second half, only to watch Wallace storm back to tie or take the lead.

Chris Walker led the Patriots with 27 points and 30 rebounds.

Marid Luckett scored 24 for the Eagles and McCurtis finished with 20.