MEXICO ROUNDUP: Lady Bulldogs give Mudd first win, Bulldogs advance to title game, girls win medals

By Jeremy Jacob, Sports Editor
Posted 12/2/23

Mexico girls extend first victory to Mudd in 47-29 win vs rival Fulton

The Mexico girls were winless going into Wednesday, but they weren’t going to lose to Fulton.

Mexico vs Fulton …

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MEXICO ROUNDUP: Lady Bulldogs give Mudd first win, Bulldogs advance to title game, girls win medals


Mexico girls extend first victory to Mudd in 47-29 win vs rival Fulton

The Mexico girls were winless going into Wednesday, but they weren’t going to lose to Fulton.

Mexico vs Fulton Photo Gallery

The Montgomery County Varsity Basketball Tournament provided the Lady Bulldogs an early shot at their North Central Missouri Conference and district rival, and they won 47-29 to give first-year head coach Makenzie Mudd her first career victory and the program’s 18th straight against Fulton. Mexico finished with 12 steals and had nine players score in the season-high output.

Seniors Jo Thurman and Kylie Burnett each led Mexico (1-3) with nine points, followed by seven points and three steals from freshman Grace Hudson off the bench, and seven points from senior Karlee Sefrit, who finished 5-for–6 from the free-throw line. Thurman said the Lady Bulldogs were working through some early-season issues in three losses against high-quality competition and felt that they had to prevent Fulton (0-3) from winning in the rivalry for the first time since 2015.

"Since my freshman year, I've never lost to Fulton and the other seniors have never lost to Fulton," Thurman said. "Coming in, it was a big game for us, at least, because we were like, 'We have to fix what we're doing now or we're going to lose to Fulton and that is just not what we want to do.'"

Mexico started to take an advantage after coming away with three steals in the first quarter for an 11-2 lead, following a 9-0 run to close the quarter. The Lady Bulldogs continued to impede Fulton passing lanes to switch possessions in their favor as six different girls had at least one steal.

The lead grew to 28-7 at halftime and decreased to single digits momentarily in the third quarter after an Audrey Arnold 3-pointer. Arnold led the Lady Hornets with 12 points and was a big part of an 18-7 third quarter in favor of Fulton prior to Mexico locking the fourth quarter down with a 12-4 advantage.

“Defensively in the third quarter, we got lazy and weren’t rotating as quickly and that’s why they got so many open looks,” Mudd said. “We picked that pace back up in the fourth and were able to slow them down.”

Mudd said Fulton’s outside shooting was a concern heading into the matchup, and the Lady Hornets confirmed that concern in the third quarter with three of their five 3-pointers. Mexico was tough defensively in the other quarters as it held Fulton to single digits every time.

"They've got strong outside shooters so we worked on movement to stop that," Mudd said. "We worked on trying to stop the entry passes in the post, and I felt like we did a pretty good job at that, and then the transition to offense and try to get some quick points early to get the morale up and get the speed and tempo up."

There wasn’t any selfish play for Mexico as the ball kept moving around, and oftentimes, found a cutting Lady Bulldog going to the rim. Mudd said Mexico responded to Fulton’s “pretty intense man-to-man” defense with backdoor cuts and screens to find opportunities from close range, filling the stats with assists and Mudd with joy.

Thurman went barreling toward the rim frequently in the first half to earn her five free-throw attempts. Mexico finished 13-for-17 from the free-throw line as the Lady Bulldogs coordinated to disrupt Fulton’s ball movement and erupt at the offensive end.

“Our trust in each other in this game was very high,” Thurman said. “If someone would jump out for a pass and they’d get beat, somebody else was there to cover their position. Everyone’s mindsets were there.”

Grace Hudson is a new element to the team that has been adjusting well so far despite playing varsity as a freshman. In Monday’s 51-29 first-round loss to Hermann, Hudson led Mexico with 13 points and then followed that with an all-around performance against Fulton.

“She’s finding her confidence,” Mudd said. “She’s realizing what her role is going to be this season. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.”

Mexico earned a fifth-place meeting on Friday night against New Haven (2-1) and believes it is in better shape heading forward. Mudd is happy to have her personal milestone victory secured but even more after beginning this season with three losses.

“After this now, we can get a lot more positive and come into the other games knowing that we can do it,” Mudd said. “It’s not that they couldn’t do it all along, but we just didn’t have that feeling yet.”

“Picking each other up was a big thing and just making sure we were on the same page,” Thurman said. “We are a very new team. This team has not played together before so we all have to figure out how to work together and be together.

Lady Bulldogs finish sixth in Montgomery tournament after 34-10 loss to New Haven

Mexico was the latest team to experience New Haven's tough defense.

The Lady Bulldogs lost 34-10 to the Lady Shamrocks in the fifth-place game of the Montgomery County Varsity Basketball Tournament on Friday. 

Going into the night, New Haven (3-1) had allowed 28.3 points per game with a lone 33-28 loss to Clopton in the tournament's first round. On Wednesday night, the Lady Shamrocks shut down Bowling Green in a 37-13 win.

"We played great defense in the first half but couldn't get shots to fall and then let  that get us down and we never overcame it," Mexico head coach Makenzie Mudd said.

Claire Hudson led the Lady Bulldogs (1-4) with four points.

Mexico opens its North Central Missouri Conference schedule at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at home against Marshall (0-3).

Mexico boys advance to title game after 54-44 win vs Hermann

For the fourth straight year, the Mexico boys are going to the Montgomery County tournament championship game.

The top-seeded Bulldogs defeated Hermann 54-44 on Thursday and will play No. 2 seed Montgomery County (3-0), who defeated Fulton 70-54, at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Montgomery County High School gym.

The Bulldogs trailed 28-26 at halftime but took the lead after the third quarter and then secured victory in the fourth by outsourcing the Bearcats 15-6 in the final eight minutes. Hermann (3-1) lost the turnover battle 20-9.

Jaydon Eldridge led Mexico (3-0) with 20 points and four 3-pointers, DJ Long followed with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, PJ Perkins had nine points, 10 rebounds and two steals, Kaden Benne finished with eight points and three steals, and Donye Nunnelly had four points and three rebounds.

Bulldogs earn overwhelming 75-10 tournament victory vs Wellsville

The Mexico boys made it look like a No. 1 against No. 8 seed.

The top-seeded Bulldogs in the Montgomery County Varsity Basketball Tournament defeated No. 8 Wellsville-Middletown 75-10 to advance to their next round matchup against Hermann. They forced 32 turnovers for 47 points off turnovers, had 45 transition points and 26 steals.

Mexico had a 24-4 lead after the first quarter and then 50-10 at halftime prior to shutting the Tigers (0-2) out at halftime.

PJ Perkins led Mexico (2-0) with 16 points and three steals, DJ Long followed with 12 points, four assists and two steals, Austin Maxwell had 10 points and was 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts, Kaden Benne had eight points and seven steals, and Holden Aulbur finished with six points and six rebounds.

Mexico girls wrestle to two first-place medals in Hallsville

Coming right off Thanksgiving break, the Mexico girls looked sharp on the mat.

Head coach Tony Senor said as much after the Lady Bulldogs earned two first-place medals on Monday in the Hallsville Indians Girls’ Classic. Lilly Debo and Alexus Johns earned first-place medals in the 110- and 235-pound weight classes, respectively.

Senor said Mexico’s more inexperienced wrestlers looked better at this meet. He said the Lady Bulldogs were experiencing some history as well since this was the first meet the Mexico High School girls were wrestling at the same meet as the Mexico Middle School girls. The middle school results included Heidi Frye at 2-0 with one pinfall, Lilly Cuno at 1-1, Timberlynn Duke at 1-0 with one pinfall, Alliceson Nitcher at 0-2, Abbi Payne at 0-2 and Lexi Rayheart at 0-2.   

“It was a special thing to witness as the head coach of the girls program,” Senor said. “All four girls coaches were there and we had an opportunity to be a team. It was a special night for our program. The Mexico Middle School Team also did a fantastic job of competing and being ready to wrestle. We were privileged to have both programs together in one night. These girls are the future of the program and we are looking forward to watching their growth in the sport and what they will continue to do together.”

Johns only needed a combined 52 seconds in her two matches, winning by pinfall each time, and Debo had a girl drop out for not making weight. Senor said Alizabeth Welch and Abby Bowen were among the top performers after they finished second in their respective weight classes as Welch won by pinfall and then was pinned and Bowen scored two pinfall victories before losing a 2-0 decision to Francis Howell’s Liv Gichuhi.

First-year wrestler Abby Seibert stood out to Senor after going 2-2 and taking third place at 170. Seibert won by pinfall twice and then lost by a 16-6 major decision to Kirksville’s Madisynn Crawford and was pinned by North Callaway’s Abigail Schmidt. Tessa Higgins had a comeback victory in the third period of a 190 match against her Kirksville opponent, Hayleigh Rock, by scoring the pinfall. 

“Abby Seibert is a first-year wrestler and she got to compete with one of the best girls at her weight from Kirksville and she did not give up a pin,” Senor said. 

Senor said the Hallsville tournament helped Mexico’s process of peaking for the Battle at the Katy Trail and Wonder Woman tournaments but will focus short-term Dec. 9 for the Polo Girls Dual Tournament.