Freshly rested after a healthy holiday break, the Mexico varsity girls basketball team entered the Warrenton Winter Tournament on Monday as the third seed riding a wave of confidence after soundly defeating Battle at home last Saturday.

On the other side of the court stood a familiar face in sixth seed Hannibal, and even though the Lady Pirates did hold their own in the middle quarters, it was the Lady Bulldogs who took control when it counted the most to come out on top 59-33.

"The girls came out and executed well in the first quarter. Reghan Smith, Logan Blevins and Adria Costley had the first 18 points for us," said coach Ed Costley. "Adria Costley hit two three's in the opening quarter, Reghan Smith and Raigan Playter had a triple each and Blevins had a pair of FG's. In the second we had a balance scoring with Taylor Sherrow and Raigan Player hitting 7-of-13 second quarter points."

Even though the difference in this game was that Mexico jumped out to a 31-16 lead in the first half, the squad also outscored Hannibal 28-17 after the break. This included 19-5 in the fourth.

"We didn't come out in third quarter and set the tone. (Instead, we) let them gain some momentum, but we did a good job of pushing the ball and getting to the free throw line," Ed Costley said. "In second half we shot 16-of-20 from line. I feel we are turning the corner on buying into the defensive side creating for the offense. Balance and playing within yourself makes us a nightly challenge for opponents. Some of our young players came in and made some plays in the fourth quarter for us."

The Lady Bulldogs, 6-4 overall, next play on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in round two of this event in the winners bracket at Warrenton against second-seed Eureka, which defeated Duchesne on Monday. In other first round games eighth seed Howell North upset top seed Moberly and fifth seed Warrenton defeated foruth seed Christian. The winners next play Jan. 10 at 7 p.m/ and the losers square off that same day at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.. The title game is then scheduled for Jan. 12 at 8:30 p.m.