With the Norm Stewart Classic having just passed and the Gary Filbert Classic coming up on Dec. 16, the Mexico varsity boys basketball team have a matinee scheduled for this Saturday against non-conference rival Bowling Green starting at 3 p.m. with the girls game.
In its most recent matchup at home on Tuesday, the Bulldogs bested Marshall 75-56 to raise their record to 3-0 overall, 2-0 NCMC. Just like the rest of its wins, Mexico needed its entire starting lineup and then some to step up against the Owls. This included a froncourt consisting of Tyler Spargo with 21 points and six rebounds and J'Marquay McGruder with 10 points and 11 rebounds and a backcourt highlighted by Cameron Holman's 18 points and four steals.
"I thought the difference in the game was the runs we made in the second and third quarters," said coach Darren Pappas after his team beat Marshall. "Two key factors in tonight’s game were containing Marshall’s back court and keeping their bigs off the glass. Overall, I’m pleased with how we executed our game plan down the stretch and I am proud of how hard the guys are working on each end of the floor."
Even though the Bulldogs also have a supporting cast that includes Avion Williams, Jonathon Grubb, Matthew Huffman and Jai Lawson, the Bobcats team dynamics are different because they revolve around Corey Bell and the 20 points, six rebounds a game he provides according to maxpreps.com. Kaleo Dade is also producing at the rate of nine points and just over five rebounds per contest while Noah Panford averages almost seven points and more than five assists per game.
Bowling Green currenty has a record of 3-2 after losing its opening contests to Hannibal 73-41 on Nov. 21 and 48-43 against Clopton at the Montgomery County Tournament. That means the squad has won three-straight now that it's downed Wellsville-Middletown 67-34 on Nov. 30, New Haven 47-40 on Dec. 2 and Wright City 60-53 on Dec. 5.
Working against the Bobcats is the fact, not only do they have a game the night before on Dec. 8 at Highland, but they also play at Palmyra on Dec. 11. Those three road games have a chance to make or break Bowling Green's season, and because this squad starts the new year at the Highland Tournament Jan. 4-6, the negative momentum that could create is an opportunity Mexico would love to see this team embrace.