While it was important that the North Callaway varsity boys basketball team claimed the first quarter 15-12 at the Missouri Military Academy on Monday and it was even more important that the Thunderbird's took the fourth 21-15.

But, the quarter that shaped the futures of all involved was the second because not only did the Fighting Colonels come out ahead 18-10, but they also used that momentum to take the third 15-7, both of which added up to a 60-53 victory over the Thunderbird's.

"MMA beat North Callaway for the second time in the last three years. We came out fast, taking the lead early and never looking back," said MMA head coach Kevin Bissmeyer. "It was our defense that made the difference. We were able to do a good job of switching between different defenses and keeping them off balance throughout the game."

For the contest the Fighting Colonels made 23-of-51 field goals, including 7-of-19 three-pointers. MMA also connected on 7-of-12 field goals with 34 rebounds, 18 assists, nine steals and five blocks.

"Our big men, Leon Victor and Omena Oberuvwu, did a fantastic job of controlling the paint while we got huge contributions from subs Bruno Pozzani and Jordan Hornick," Bissmeyer said. "The guard combination of Nyamku Chingun, Gabriel Penha and Pedro Risovas has caused real problems for other teams. We're able to sub without losing much and keeping our intensity high. The boys played their hearts out and did a great job of setting the tone and maintaining consistent effort."

For Pozzani, even though he's normally a role player, in this game he was able to break free and put up 10 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal, Oberuvwu also had quite the night for the Colonels with nine points, four boards, one assist, one steal and a block and Hornick and Leon charted six points each. Chingun's night wasn't quite so special as he charted just four points, three rebounds and three assists and Risovas had an assist only, but Penha did work up enough magic to conjure up 13 points.

North Callaway's response to all this production was Khobi Kellerman with 16 points, Coy Dannison was good for 13 points asnd four assists and Dawson Wright had 11 points and five rebounds. Tanner Pezold also came through with 10 points and six rebounds.

"We're not playing as a team and MMA is a much improved from a year ago," said North Callaway coach Matthis Miller.

The Thundebird's numbers were just a litte lower than the Colonels and included going 12-for-35 on two-pointers, 7-for-21 on three-pointers and 5-for-11 from the free throw line. North Callaway also had 24 rebounds, 10 assists sand three steals.

MMA, 7-6 overall, is at Calvary Lutheran on Friday.

North Callaay, 9-11 overall, hosts Elsberry for an Estern Missouri Conference game on Friday.