Mexico boys basketball coach Darren Pappas and his Bulldogs entered the second day of a back-to-back on a six-game losing streak after falling 61-56 to Bowling Green on Thursday.
Mexico couldn’t overcome a dreadful start to the second half against the Bobcats, who outscored the Bulldogs 19-8 in the third quarter. Mexico had three players in double figures: Drew Blevins (16), Zach Watkins (13) and Isaiah Reams (10). However, the rest of the Bulldogs went a combined 6-for-20 from the field. It wasn’t enough to keep up.
It’s the minute details that kept Mexico from victory.
During the losing streak, the Bulldogs lost by a combined 25 points. Four of the six losses came by three or fewer points.
“We usually had one bad quarter that got us in a hole,” Pappas said. “Particularly the third quarters have been rough for us in that losing streak.”
Things changed Friday night in a 67-51 home victory over Eugene, which headed into the matchup on the opposite trajectory of Mexico. The Eagles were on a five-game winning streak and won five of their first 10 games by double digits.
The Bulldogs outrebounded Eugene 50-26 and finished with 16 second-chance points. Mexico made a concerted effort to keep the bigger Eagles off the boards. The Bulldogs held Eugene to 29.4% shooting, only four points in transition and forced 14 turnovers.
“We’ve been in ballgames but we didn’t know how to finish them out, and that's a sign of a youthful team,” Pappas said. “To come back on back-to-back nights against a good Eugene team that shoots the ball very well from the perimeter and for us to come out with that type of defensive intensity and control the boards, I’m very proud of our guys.”
Mexico girls win on back-to-back nights
The Mexico girls basketball team won its second straight game with a victory over Eugene on Friday night, piggybacking off a win against Bowling Green just 24 hours earlier.
Mexico forced 22 turnovers en route to a 47-34 victory over the Bobcats on Thursday. Mya Miller, Reghan Smith and Shelbi Shaw combined for 31 of the Bulldogs’ points.
Mexico followed that up with a 47-38 victory over Eugene on Friday to secure wins in four of its past five games. Mexico had three players in double figures — Logan Blevins (13), Smith (12) and Miller (10) — to secure victory over the Eagles.
This was a statement win for the Bulldogs, as Eugene has five wins by double digits this season and its only previous loss was to Fatima by three in double overtime.