Owls enjoy rare sweep at Mexico
MEXICO -- The Marshall boys' and girls' basketball teams accomplished a feat Friday which hadn't yet been done in nearly a decade: sweep at Mexico.
The Owls broke a 14-game losing streak against their ninth-ranked NCMC rival with an 81-77 decision, winning in Little Dixie for the first time since Dec. 5, 2006. Success hadn't been so elusive for the Marshall girls, splitting the season series with the Lady Bulldogs for the second year in a row with a 50-45 victory.
Mexico led the boys' game by two points after one quarter, but the Owls got the fast-break going during the second period -- tallying 30 points, 10 from junior Zach Maupin. Senior Jared Armstrong hit a pair of three-pointers and senior Lance Thomas closed the half with a steal and transition bucket to send Marshall into the break with a 45-39 lead.
"It was momentum for us, especially going into halftime," noted Owls head coach Jason Varner.
The Owls cooled off during the third quarter, half their points coming on two Thomas treys, and Mexico got three buckets from senior Skylar Harrington to surge ahead.
The final frame was back and forth, with five lead changes -- the last coming when senior Logan Harris made a lay-up with 25 seconds left for a two-point advantage. Marshall came up with a stop, but missed two free throws.
However, the Bulldogs couldn't convert on their end and had to foul with five seconds left, Maupin sinking both from the stripe to seal the win.
All five starters scored in double figures for both teams, Mexico (12-5, 5-2 NCMC) led by junior D'Milo Nunnelly with 19 points and junior James Norton with 17.
Maupin and Armstrong both finished with 21 points for the Owls (8-10, 3-4) -- who also got 13 points and four steals from Thomas and 12 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots from Harris.
"The guys were real excited about this win," Varner said. "I think it can give us confidence."
Meanwhile, the Marshall girls have been playing with some zest lately, winning their last three games. Against Mexico, the Lady Owls trailed by three points at halftime before pulling ahead with a 10-4 third period marked by bombs from senior Molly Evans and freshman Lyssa Agcalon.
Both of those Marshall guards also struck from outside during the fourth period, keeping the Lady 'Dogs in the rear-view mirror. The Lady Owls missed nine of 18 free-throw attempts down the stretch, but managed to hang on.
Mexico (5-13, 3-4) was topped by senior Karen Baker's 12 points.
Evans had 13 points, with Agcalon and junior Emily tobin each adding nine, for Marshall (8-11, 3-4).
The Lady Owls continue league play at home Monday against Fulton, with the Marshall boys hosting the Yellowjackets on Tuesday.
Santa Fe 70, Crest Ridge
ALMA -- Santa Fe got off to a quick start and led Crest Ridge the rest of the way Friday for a 70-50 I-70 Conference win.
Senior Truman Sleeper scored 10 points and sophomore Dobber Burton knocked down three long-range jumpers during the Chiefs' 22-11 first quarter. Burton connected twice more from beyond the arc during the second period to send Santa Fe into the break with a 16-point lead.
The Cougars (7-13, 0-6 I-70) were led in scoring by junior Garrett Hoeper with 16 points.
Sleeper wound up with 19 points and Burton had 18, all on three-pointers, for the Chiefs (12-8, 3-1). With only one league loss, the head to Wellington-Napoleon on Tuesday to face one of the two teams still unbeaten in I-70 play.
Sweet Springs 59, Concordia 51
SWEET SPRINGS -- Sweet Springs recorded its first I-70 Conference victory of the season Friday with a 59-51 decision over visiting Concordia.
Senior Andrew Krause was a thorn in the Orioles' side all game, tallying 12 points in the first half and making 14 of 18 free throws after the break for a game-high 26 points.
Concordia (3-20, 1-4 I-70) was led by senior Trent McGinnis with 16 points.
Juniors Austin Knipmeyer and Justin Mitchell combined for 18 points for the Greyhounds (7-15, 1-3), who host Orrick on Tuesday.
Hale 58, Malta Bend 54
MALTA BEND -- Malta Bend finally hit a wall Friday during the second half of its home game against Hale.
Leading 16-8 at halftime, the Tigers -- who had won four of their previous five contests -- were out-scored 36-17 after the break for a 58-54 loss. Junior Keaton Eddins led the charge for the Cardinals (4-15), ringing up 19 of his 23 points during the second half.
Sophomore Lucas Eberting had 21 points for Malta Bend (6-11), which has a rematch Monday at Missouri School for the Deaf.
Santa Fe 64, Crest Ridge 43
ALMA -- The Santa Fe girls pulled even with Crest Ridge for second place in the I-70 Conference race Friday with a 64-43 home win.
After a tight opening period, the Lady Chiefs took control during the second quarter with a 23-7 run, paced by senior Kourtney Chiddix's eight points. Senior Lexi Smith scored 14 of her game-high 17 points during the first half as Santa Fe double-upped the Lady Cougars, 34-17.
Junior Lily Hunter tallied 12 points for Crest Ridge (14-6, 4-2 I-70).
The Lady Chiefs (18-2, 3-1) got 14 points from junior Kylie Limback while winning their fifth straight game.
Sweet Springs 61, Concordia 42
SWEET SPRINGS -- Sweet Springs carved out an early lead and continually extended it Friday for its eighth win in a row, 61-42 over I-70 Conference foe Concordia.
Junior Kortnee Vaught set the pace for the Lady Greyhounds with three bombs in the first quarter, and senior Nicole Bright closed the game with 10 points during the final period.
The Lady Orioles (14-8, 2-3 I-70 ) were led by junior Cailey Cooper with 17 points.
Vaught and Bright each scored 15 points for Sweet Springs (15-7, 2-2), with senior Megan Evans adding 12.
Hale 60, Malta Bend 46
MALTA BEND -- Freshman Devin Hale exploded for 32 points Friday to give Hale (4-14) a 60-46 victory at Malta Bend.
Grossman racked up 12 points during the Lady Cardinals' 19-8 first quarter, then foiled any comeback bid with nine fourth-period points.
Freshman Lynzi Miller scored 21 points for the Lady Tigers (7-10), who had won three straight.
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