Mexico girls knock off Eugene

Dave Faries

There were a few moments on Friday night when it looked as if Mexico’s winning ways might suffer a blow.

Throughout the second half in Eugene, the host Eagles threatened to close within 10 points. But each time one of head coach Ed Costley’s squad would repair the damage.

“We held on,” he said of the Bulldogs 56-43 road win, giving Mexico a 9-2 record heading into next week’s Macon Tournament.

Eugene’s Kaydi Alderman made it an 8-point game, 31-23, two minutes into the third quarter. With Mexico in foul trouble, guard Riley Blevins was forced to post up against the big Eagles forwards.

She responded by slicing into the paint for back-to-back layups that restored the Bulldogs’ double-digit cushion.

Blevins’ power moves ignited a 13-2 Mexico run. Taylor DeMint lofted an arcing shot from six feet, Blevins sank two from the line, Mya Miller punched through two defenders for a lay in and Jordyn Thurman dropped a three.

Suddenly the game was on the verge of a blowout at 42-27. And when Blevins sank a three – under pressure and at the buzzer – the outcome appeared certain.

“I saw the clock and thought ‘It looks like I have to shoot,’” Blevins said. As the clock tipped into the tenths of seconds, she also saw a hand in her face. “So I used a high arc,” the freshman guard added.

But the Eagles – specifically Maggie Stieferman – put together a run of their own. Midway through the fourth period the hosts pulled to within striking distance again, 49-40.

In stepped Abby Oetting. The Bulldogs senior took the ball near the top of the key, spun around a defender and drove into the paint.

“I just happened to get an open lane,” Oetting said. “My teammates did the work.”

Once again Mexico was out in front by double-digits. And that was it.

Mexico – especially Miller – kept Eugene at bay in the first half. Perhaps Eugene thought they could rely on a decided height advantage to stop Miller. By the halftime break, however, the Mexico forward had hammered the Eagles for 23 points.

She didn’t need much in the way of assistance. Although Alexis Willer and Riley Thurman hit from the field and Blevins sank one from beyond the arc, Miller’s 23 was enough, as Eugene managed only 19.
“They were letting me drive,” Miller observed. “I beat them on the dribble.”

In the second half the hosts began double and triple teaming Miller. But eight Bulldogs put points on the board.

Miller led all scorers with 28. Riley Blevins’ work inside and out was rewarded with 13. Willer and Riley Thurman added 4 each, Jordyn Thurman hit a three while Oetting and Capri’Ona Fountain notched 2 apiece.


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