Mexico girls basketball opened the regular season Monday, losing to the Helias Crusaders 41-26 in Jefferson City.
"This was a good chance to see a district opponent early and look to make adjustments as a team going into the tournament," head coach Ed Costley said.
Mexico led 6-5 at the end of the first quarter, but the Crusaders responded by outscoring the Bulldogs 21-7 in the second quarter to pull away.
"They had a solid inside post who led them in scoring with 17 points," Costley said. "We made adjustments and held her to two points in the second half."
The Bulldogs shot just just 24 percent from the field while the Crusaders hit 40 percent of their shots.
"This was not the shooting output we were hoping for," Costley said. "We didn't have a balance in offense with our focus on the drive and not looking to take available outside shots."
Junior Danielle Baumgartner led the Bulldogs in scoring, shooting three field goals and going 1-3 from the free throw line to net seven points. Junior Karen Baker had six points on the three field goals and senior Kaitlin Ingrum had five points on two field goals and 1-2 free throw shooting.
"Danielle had a solid game inside on offense," Costley said. "Kelli and Tori Shaw played tough, helping limit them on offensive boards."
Senior Remington Greenwell and sophomore Sydnee Playter had three points each while senior Kelli Ingrum had two.
The Crusaders won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Bulldogs 23-14 while forcing 16 turnovers.
The Bulldogs return to the court Monday in Montgomery City, playing Clopton in the opening round of the Montgomery County Invitational.
In other area action, the North Callaway girls beat Father Tolton in double-overtime, 41-38.
Senior Maddie Sorrell led the Thunderbirds in scoring with 13 points while also recording four rebounds.
Junior Elaine Brinker hit a game-winning three-pointer to give the Thunderbirds a 39-38 lead early in the second overtime period. Brinker scored 12 points while also recording three assists and two steals.
"It was a good win; Father Tolton is going to win a lot of ball games this year," North Callaway coach Matt Miller said. "Even in foul trouble we stayed together as a team and bench played a key role in the win."