Several local basketball teams got 2019 started right with wins in their first games back in action after a holiday break.
The Marionville Comets and Lady Comets both started the new year with wins in their first games back.
For the boys, it was a come-from-behind victory in the first round of the Crane Tournament, as the Comets pulled out a 62-59 win over Walnut Grove to advance. Josh Goodman led all scorers with 27 points, while Gavin Stanton added 22 for the Comets.
Marionville advanced to face Ash Grove on Thursday. See next week's sports section for results of the rest of the tournament.
The Lady Comets kicked off the new year with a road win at Golden City to improve to 3-7 on the season. After a Thursday trip to Galena, Paden Grubbs' team will look to perform well in front of the home crowd next week in the Lady Comet Classic. Marionville's first game will be against Ash Grove on Tueday.
The Verona Lady Wildcats also began the year with a win -- a 44-40 victory over Gainesville in the first round of the Sparta Invitational. But the team would fall in the next two games of the tourney, 55-33 against Bradleyville and 60-43 against the hosts.
The Verona girls bounced back with a win on the road at Billings on Monday, defeating their fellow Lady Wildcats 57-41 to reach double digit wins on the season (10-6).
They will travel with the boys to Mcauley Catholic on Friday before playing at Southwest on Monday.
The Wildcats suffered their third loss of the season to open the year, falling 57-52 at home against Billings. The "other" Wildcats are one of just two teams to beat Verona this year, having won 72-69 in the Pierce City Invitational back in November.
Verona will look to get back to winning Thursday against Southwest and Friday at McAuley. Brad Stewart's team will then compete in the Spokane Invitational Tournament next week, entering as the top seed. See the bracket for more details.