It may not have the allure or wonder of previous matchups like Leonard vs. Duran, UCLA vs USC or even Coke vs Pepsi, but when the girls section the of the Macon varsity basketball tournament starts on Tuesday, local squads Mexico and Centralia will square off as the fourth and fifth seed at 9 p.m.
Because the winner will more than likely go on to play Moberly on Thursday, which would otherwise be a North Central Missouri Conference game for the Lady Bulldogs, this team has no interest in playing any other opponent. Instead, Mexico wants to recapture some of the magic is made on Jan. 6 when it defeated Battle at home in non-conference action.
"I thought Raigan Playter had a well balanced game, hit some outside shots and made one trying drives," said coach Ed Costley. "She came up with key rebounds and loose balls. She was definitely the difference maker or us tonight."
Even though the Lady Bulldogs did get several strong individual performance in that contest, the team played even better as a unit. This was highlighted by holding Battle to making just 12-of-36 field goals, including 0-of-8 three pointers, and 3-of-10 free throws.
Battle also managed just 20 rebounds and four blocks, all of which combined to create a 41-27 defeat that saw Player score 16 with two steals, Adria Costley gave a 10-point performance and Logan Blevins scored nine with one steal, one block and an assist. Another key to success for Mexico was taking leads of 9-3 in the first quarter and 24-9 in the second.
Centralia, 6-6 overall, may not have the same familiarity with its head coach because Rebecca Schemmer doesn't have nearly the same time under her belt with her team as Ed Costley does, but this squad is holding opponents to 36 percent from the floor according to maxpreps.com. The team is also racking up 9.0 assists, 31.5 rebounds, 8.8 steals and 3.0 blocks a game thanks, in part, to Olivia Eikel and her 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.
Carter Simkins has also turned herself into one to watch this season now that she's averaging 9.8 points and 2.9 boards per game, numbers Mary Kay Bennett has been doing her best to compliment by putting up 9.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest.
The team that does not win this game more than likely will face Brookfield on Jan. 17 at 4:30 p.m.
Also, on page six of the Jan. 12 Mexico Ledger, the article titled, "Macon Tournament tests Lady Bulldogs", should have read, "Warrenton Tourney tests Lady Bulldogs".