Once the clock hits 6 p.m. on Friday at Hannibal, the Mexico varsity girls basketball team, 14-12 overall, will be starting its conflict with St. Dominic's for the class 4, district 8 championship whether both sides are ready or not.
In order to get to this point the Lady Bulldogs won big on Monday then edged out a last minute defensive slugfest against Warrenton, so they've already seen quite a lot of action, yet still haven't seen the best of what senior guard Adria Costley has to offer. As for St. Dominic, it's a bit of a wildcard in that regard because it had a round one bye and then defeated a Hannibal team in round two that had a record of 8-16 overall, making Mexico its first true playoff test of 2017-18
"To start the playoffs I was really concerned about playing back-to-back. Against Warrenton in the third quarter especially I thought we started to look a little tired," said coach Ed Costley. "We ran the last 1:30 or so out just to rest. (Wednesday was just for) rest and to watch some film. (We got) back on the floor Thursday. We lost a tough one last year to St. Dominic's in the district semifinals on a last second shot at the buzzer. I think this group is looking forward to the rematch."
As a team against the Lady Warriors Mexico was 15-for-38 from the floor. That includes 4-for-15 from three-point territory. Theyb team also made 4-of-6 free throws with 24 rebounds, three steals one block and eight assist. Even though Ed Costley is one to always want more, defensively his team forced Warrenton into making just 24 percent of its field goal attempts.
"Raigan Playter had a good shooting night, going 3-for-6 from behind the three-point and 2-for-2 from the field with three assists. She played a well balanced game for us," Ed Costley said. "I thought our assistant coaches came up with a great plan to defend their post play. The girls really dialed in and got it done. We had a seven point lead at one point in third. I thought we'd be able to pull extend the lead, but Warrenton showed why they are the two time district champions with their desire to keep fighting."
St. Dominic's is a bit tricky to nail down because they weren't ranked in the final Missouri State Basketball Coaches poll. But, not only do they have a record of 18-6 overall, maxpreps.com has it lisetd as the 64th best team in the state and 2,682nd in the nation. The Lady Crusaders also started the year with a seven-game win streak.
Highlights for 2017-18 for St. Dominic include beating Helias at home 39-33 on Feb. 17, on Feb. 15 the team won at Westminster Christian 54-44 and on Feb. 12 the Lady Crusaders claimed a 38-32 victory in St. Louis oner Notre Dame.