Local gymnasiums were alive with action all over the city Thursday morning with full-court basketball serving as the competitive medium.
But, just like in the movie, The Warriors, these teenage gangs and their leaders, AKA coaches, didn't come to Mexico to make friends. Actually, they did, and that's exactly what happened for many of these middle school, junior varsity and varsity boys and girls hoops players, but, as the morning became early afternoon on Thursday one venue grew to four.
That's because, even though the initial games began at the middle school, once all the teams started playing, a lot more courts than that became necessary.
"It's an exciting opportunity for the Mexico boys and girls (basketball) programs. We have several teams (registered) and there are 20-plus girls teams and while there aren't as many boys teams this year, it's still exciting," said Mexico Athletic Director Travis Blevins. "It's a great opportunity for kids to get out and play and for parents to be involved. Our facilities are amazing and this is a great way to have everyone involved."
The boys scrimmages lasted just one day, Thursday, and took place at the high school. While this meant those squads only paid $315 compared to the $395 the girls paid for two days of games, the action began at 11:15 a.m on court one with the varsity playing Jefferson City and on court two Mexico nine faced off against the Jefferson City JV. The Mexico JV also played Southern Boone nine on court two at noon and the Mexico varsity took on Jefferson City two on court one at 12:45 p.m.
"I'm going to help with the gate and the scorers tables. I'll do anything I can to help," said Mexico grad and current University of Central Missouri guard Adria Costley, who was at the middle school Thursday morning. "Overall (my summer) has been good. I've been in the gym working and getting stronger in the weight room. I've really enjoyed it."
As for the girls schedule on the first day of the Licking camps, the Lady Bulldogs helped kick off the event at the middle school on court one against the Southern Boone varsity at 9:00 a.m. That matchup was followed by Mexico two vs Macon one at 9:45 a.m. on the same court, at noon Mexico three played Smithville two on court one and North Callaway four took on Pittsfield three at 1:30 p.m. on court two.
"It's really different (to work events like this compared to participating in events like this). It takes some adjustment, but I'm enjoying it," Costley said. "I really enjoyed my first year of college. It was a learning experience. I'm excited for next year."
The games at the YMCA didn't commence until 10:30 a.m. on Thursday while the action at Hawthorne started at 9:45 a.m. On Friday, because there were only girls games, things were concentrated to just the middle school and the high school. Officials for these contests included recently retired Mexico Athletic Director Jeff Anderson.