The Moberly girls and boys basketball teams are hoping to start 2020 strong as they head into a varsity doubleheader at Hallsville Tuesday night. The Lady Spartans will head into their matchup with the Hallsville Lady Indians minus their leading scorer Mary Billington. Billington is suspended for the game after she was ejected from the team’s previous game against Warrenton. Lady Spartans head coach Tony Vestal says Billington’s absence means other girls will need to step up.

The Lady Spartans bring a 3-5 record into the matchup with Hallsville and have beaten the Lady Indians the last three times they’ve met. Hallsville comes in at 8-3 and are currently on a four-game winning steak. Even with Billington out of the lineup for Moberly, Lady Indians coach Matt Heet knows his team needs to be ready for anything.

Meanwhile, the Moberly boys basketball team is looking to kick their season up a notch. The Spartans come into the game with a 1-6 record and have dropped their last four. The youthful Moberly squad has been led by sophomore Jaisten Payne who is averaging 24 points per game. However, the Spartans’ defense has struggled this season giving up an average of 64 points per game. Moberly coach Cord Hagedorn says ball-handling struggles have contributed to the team’s issues.

Ball handling will be particularly important against the Hallsville Indians and their stingy defense. Hallsville coach Brannon Bartlett says their dedication to defense will be crucial against Moberly.

The Indians are 7-4 this season and bring a three-game winning streak into their game against Moberly. Coverage of Tuesday night’s games begins at 5:45 pm on Superstation KRES and Colin Schowe will have the call.