The 2017-18 varsity basketball season has been an up and down affiair for the Mexico girls, and with a matchup against Van-Far lying in wait at home on Saturday in the fifth contest of the six game Gary Filbert Classic, the squad was looking to refine its skill sets.
The one caveat to that conundrum was that the only chance the Lady Bulldogs had to get better before the weekend was their Friday night North Central Missouri Conference home game against Hannibal. Considering these two schools tend to battle it out regardless of the circumstances or sport, the likelihood Mexico would face anything but an all out, full court mele didn't seem that great.
But, once the game began the Lady Bulldogs were in full control, claiming leads of 43-10 at halftime and 59-20 at the end of the third on 11 points each fom Adria Costley, Raigan Playter and Logan Blevins to defeat the Lady Pirates 65-30.
"Mexico came out with a whole lot more energy than we did. We came out flat and couldn't hit a shot to save ou lives," said Hannibal coach Ben Jamerson. "They were throwing up shots, and if they weren't hitting them they were getting the offensive rebounds and put-backs. What we were expecting from Mexico is what we saw. We were just expecting more out of us. It's tough to really think about the other team a whole lot after a loss like that. This had more to do with what we didn't do."
The tale of this contest could best be summed up by describing the 18-6 lead Mexico jumped out to in the first quarter thanks to Aaron Sampo scoring five of her teams initial six points. While the Lady Pirates Kaylee Falconer did hit the opening field goal and Reghan Smith, who scored 17, split a pair of free throws for the Lady Bulldogs at 6:38, it was the next five points she scored that really set the scene for Playter to give her team a nine-point lead at :42.8 prior to sinking a triple to end the session.
"On defense we started by getting what we needed. We really moved the ball well anf found the opportunities," said Mexico coach Ed Costley. "They started out in a box-and-one against Adria Costley, but I thought we were patient on offense and we were finding ways to pass to the next open person. We did a good job moving without the ball and that as key for us against their zone. Our post players didn't get off to a great start, but that's because we were adjusting to Hannibal's approach."
Even though the Lady Pirates also got another hoop from Falconer in the first along with a basket by Abby Bauman before getting outscored 25-4 in the second, the third was more of the same for the Mexico as it got a combined six points from Adria Costley, Smith and Blevins to go up 49-12 at 5:31. That advantage then grew to 57-15 at 1:49 after the Lady Bulldogs went on an 8-3 run before Hannibal closed out the session with a field goal by Mariah Strong and a three-pointer from Emma Deien.
"We expected Mexico's offense to run through Adria Costley. We also expected that if we took her out of the game they'd find other openings," Jamerson said. "We were looking for them to run zone defense against us, but the way we came out, we didn't do the job. No we've got to work on some of those little things that we're not doing very well right now."
Hannibal, 3-5 overall, plays Macon on Monday.
Mexico, 3-3 overall, 2-1 NCMC, hosted Van-Far on Saturday in the Gary Filbert Classic.