When the Mexico varsity girls basketball team finished the regular season at Fulton last Thursday, it gave head coach Ed Costley a chance to see where he might want to attack its defense during the rematch on Monday at Hannibal in the first round of district 4, class 8.
Come game time what he couldn't plan for was the Lady Bulldogs only turning the ball over 11 times, or the fact the squad racked up 23 assists. But, based on the weaknesses he saw in the Lady Hornets defensive sets, his planning and scheming did put Logan Blevins in position to go 11-for-13 from the field to score 23 points.
But, in order to perform at peak performance this engine needed one more key component, which turned out to be Adria Costley, who came through with eight points and 11 assists to lead Mexico to a 64-42 victory over Fulton.
"We did a good job offensively breaking them down in the lane and finding that next, extra pass. Early in the game we did a good job in transition getting out and getting easy layups. Our bigs were running the floor and so were our guards," Ed Costley said. "I thought we had good success going inside against Fulton last Thursday. Offensively we did a good job of finding that interior play and being balanced with it."
To start this game Adria Costley dropped a three-pointer and then she ended the first quarter with a pair of free throws to give Mexico a 21-4 lead heading into the second. In between those two scores Adria Costley also hit a field goal at 1:46 that put her team up 15-2 and Raghan Smith scored four of her seven points for the game.
"Our ball movement from the beginning was good. We were sharp in the first quarter, but in the second quarter, we got complacent and weren't moving off the ball," said Ed Costley. "Our movement off the basketball in the first quarter was the biggest thing. Moving without the basketball is something we've beenn working on all season long. It showed then and we picked it up again in the late third and fourth quarters. Defesnively we focused on keepingn them out of the paint off of the drive."
After Fulton went into halftime trailing 29-18, Blevins charted the initial seven points of the third for Mexico to make it 36-23 game at 6:38 of the third. The Lady Bulldogs then pulled away even further to 45-27 at 1:29 thanks to a pair of makes from the charity stripe by Aaryn Sampo, who scored four for the contest.
"It was good to see Raigan Playter hit some shots from the outside, but we were 2-of-15 from the three-point line. We're going to have to better than that if we're going to have any chance against Warrenton on Tuesday," Ed Costley said. "The one thing we gave up to much of was rebounds on defense. We gave them 11 offensive rebounds."