The last time we saw the Mexico varsity boy's basketball team it had been run ragged and was more than a little banged up.
On Monday against Macon in the first round of its tournament the Bulldogs were one week removed from the three games in three days round robin format of the Tyronn Lue Classic that featured a trio of inner-city teams they never would have faced otherwise and were better off because they did. The only question was whether or not the lessons learned at that event had already taken hold or would that happen in the days to come, a journey that, if nothing else, led the Bulldogs Tyler Spargo to 16 points.
While those travels also brought Jai Lawson to a 13 point, four assist performance, even though this contest was close throughout, Mexico still trailed 15-14 at the end od the first quarter and 31-28 at halftime. When Macon was still up 43-42 at the end of the third, it appeared as though this contest could go either way, especially considering Matthew Huffman's hip had healed to the point he was able to pull down seven rebounds and six points, but in the end the Bulldogs still ended up falling 56-52.
"This game was all about defensive stops and rebounding. Unfortunately, Macon made a couple more defensive stops than we did and kept us off the glass most of the night," said coach Darren Pappas. "In the end, we turned it over a few too many times and Macon made us pay for our mistakes. We’ll learn from our mistakes and hopefully turn it back around on Wednesday."
Vern Williams also made his presence felt for Mexico on MLK Day with seven points and three steals.
The Bulldogs, 8-7 overall, 3-2 North Central Missouri Conference, face Brookfield in round two of this event at 9 p.m. on Jan. 17.