When the Community R-6 varsity boys basketball team, 7-13 overall, takes the trip over to North Shelby, 9-7 overall, on Tuesday to face North Shelby, the matchup is one head coach Matt Thomas set up personally in his role as athletic director.
That means he picked this date, team and location on purpose, so when you consider that this contest is the second to last one his team will play in the 2017-18 regular season, Thomas' motivation probably has something to do with fine tuning his team before the start of the postseason.
Even if the Trojans aren't perfect, they're definitely better than they were last year and one reason for that is Bobby Jett, who scored a team-high 16 points in a 64-42 Eastern Missouri Conference loss on Feb. 2 loss at Wellsville-Middletown. Cordell Hollensteiner also scored 11 that game and if both of these players are getting open, any opponent is going to have its hands full.
CR-6 gets plenty of contributions from the rest of its bench, as well, and against the Tigers that translated to Blaze Escamilla scoring six, Eric Hombs added five points and Evan Hartsock gave a two-point performance.
Despite the fact North Shelby lost at the La Plata Tournament to Green City 64-53 on Feb. 3 and La Plata 61-33 on Feb. 1 according to maxpreps.com, prior to that the team had beaten Madison 58-45 on Jan. 30. The Lady Raiders also defeated Marceline 48-42 in double overtime at home on Jan. 26, showing they have the legs and lungs to run late and the nerves to come up big when they have to.
North Shelby's biggest rivalry this year began on Dec. 1 when it won at South Shelby 58-46, at the Monroe City Tournament on Dec. 7 the team lost to South Shelby 41-33 and on Jan. 15 at its own tournament the Lady Falcons bested South Shelby 69-34.
Community R-6, is at Montgomery County for Friday for an Eastern Missouri Conference game and on Feb. 16 the team is at Mark Twain.