After opening the season on a big stage last weekend at Columbia College in the Norm Stewart Classic, the Mexico varsity boys basketball teams second game at Marshall on Tuesday came with greater overall implications because it was the start of North Central Missouri Conference competition.

With Jai Lawson going for 21 points and nine rebounds on the night, that helped the Bulldogs take a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Owls got the momentum back in the second and used it to go into halftime leading 31-24 before ending the third with a 41-36 advantage. Even though Mexico also were fortunate to get 12 points each from Zac Watson and Taylor Bledsoe, it wasn't enough as Marshall went on to win 60-51.

"This was hard fought game and the guys showed a never quit attitude throughout. I thought the differences in the game were Marshall shot 33-for-39, 84 percent, from the charity stripe compared to our 3-for-6, 50 percent," said coach Darren Pappas. "Marshall did a good job attacking the basket and we committed a lot of fouls. We had some guys get into foul trouble early in the first half which Marshall took advantage of and went on a couple runs."

Watkins also had eight rebounds for Mexico. Cole Whalen came through with six points and five boards, as well.

"Overall, I’m pleased with our effort tonight and we will learn from this experience," Pappas said. "We are a fairly young ball club that is starting to figure each other’s abilities out which we feel will pay off in the long run. We look forward to our home opener on Tuesday, December 11th against Kirksville (V/JV)."

Mexico is now 0-2 overall, 0-1 NCMC.