The Mexico Bulldogs ended the Moberly Spartans’ season with a 71-64 victory Monday night in the district quarterfinals. In a back-and-forth affair, Mexico was able to take the lead by a four point swing from Michael White.

Lucas Smith with the call on KWIX AM and FM and The sophomore guard scored nine for the Bulldogs, but it was his steal with 1:15 left that sealed the win for Mexico .

After losing to Mexico twice this season by 30 or more points, Moberly got out to a fast start. It’s zone defense produced multiple steals, allowing the Spartans to score fast break points with ease. Spartan’s head coach Cord Hagedorn was pleased that it was his team getting off to a fast start, rather than Mexico.

Moberly took a 35-33 lead to halftime thanks to a 14 point first half from Jaisten Payne. The Spartan zone defense stalled much of Mexico’s scoring in the third frame, as Moberly went into the final quarter with a 50-42 lead. The fourth quarter would be a different story, as the Bulldogs scored 29 points and re-applied their press to put pressure on the Spartans. Moberly couldn’t find a consistent press-breaker, scoring 14 points. Bulldog head coach Darren Pappas said he was proud of his team for finding a way to win.

Despite losing for a third time to Mexico, coach Cord Hagedorn was proud of his team for playing what he said is their best game of the season.

Sophomore Drew Blevins paced Mexico with 20, followed by junior Raef Yager with 15 and sophomore Isaiah Reams with 11. Three Spartans reached double figures, with Jaisten Payne scoring 20, Toby Short 13 and Derieus Wallace 11.

Moberly ends its season at 2-22, but will return all starters next season. Mexico improves to 14-11 and will face No. 2 Fulton Tuesday in the district semifinals. Hear full postgame interviews with this story below.

Cord Hagedorn

Darren Pappas