Meade’s girls basketball team knew how much was at stake in its rematch with South River on Tuesday night.

Both teams entered the Anne Arundel County contest with just one conference loss and the winner would have the inside track to the league title.

Even with all that at stake, the No. 8 Mustangs really wanted to show the No. 10 Seahawks how much they have grown as a team since their last matchup, a 60-41 loss at the hands of South River back in December.

“The first time we played them, I don’t think we were ready as a team,” said Mustangs forward Katara Pressley.  “We really didn’t have any chemistry but once we played more games, we got it together and now we play well as a team.

Meade’s defense held the visiting Seahawks to just four first half field goals and jumped out to 17-point halftime lead on its way to a 63-46 victory.

“It was really big to get out to a lead because it boasted our confidence and we just it pulled it out in the end,” said Imani Bailey, who left the game briefly in the fourth quarter with cramps.

Bailey scored a game-high 19 points to lead four Meade (17-4 overall, 14-1 league) players in double-digits.  Pressley contributed 14 points, while Veronica Young added 12 and Chenelle Whitty had 10.

Domonique Hagins and Kailee Knight scored 12 points apiece for South River (15-6, 13-2).  Bre Bolden and Tiffany McKinney each added eight points.

The Mustangs have won 13 straight decisions and are in the driver’s seat to claim the county title with just one regular season game remaining.

Pressley scored eight points as the Mustangs jumped out to a 13-5 first quarter lead.  A deep three-pointer by Bailey and a put-pack by McKeither put Meade ahead 21-7 with 5:13 left in the half.

Trailing 32-15 after halftime, behind an and-one and a drive to the basket by Hagins, the Seahawks used a 7-0 run to get to within 10 points.  Later in the third quarter, Bolden drilled a three-pointer and Aleeyah Hopkins finished inside, bringing South River to within seven points, 36-29.

“We’ve played a few tough games where we had to grind it out and I think that helped us quite a bit,” said Meade coach Jonathon Mason.  “I told them to calm down and they did a great job of relaxing and weathered the storm.”

The Seahawks wouldn’t get any closer. Pressley knocked down another jumper and Bailey made two free-throws and finished the quarter with a steal and layup to push Meade’s lead back into double-digits, 42-30, entering the fourth quarter.

“We laid [an] egg at the beginning of the game,” South River coach Mike Zivic said. “I didn’t make adjustments. It’s my fault. We have to do better than that.  You can’t give them that lead in the beginning of the game.”

If the Mustangs defeat Chesapeake-AA on Friday, they will face Howard County league winner, No. 6 Glenelg, next Tuesday in the District V title game before heading into the playoffs.

“We still have to take care of business on Friday. I told them in the locker room that we still have one game left,” said Mason.  “We’re not official county champions. Everyone wants to crown us right now but we’re not done yet.”

No. 8 Meade 63, No. 10 South River 46
South River510151646
South River:
Bolden 8, Hagins 12, Knight 12, McKinney 8, Hopkins 4, Martin 2.Totals 15 12-21 46.
Bailey 19, McKeither 8, Witty 10, Pressley 14, Young 12.Totals 18 21-34 63.