MOUNT VERNON — For the first time in over 21 years, the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets girls basketball team hosted another Knox County team.
Judging by the attendance — and the enthusiasm — it won’t take that long to happen again.
The Centerburg Trojans, leaders in the Mid-Buckeye Conference, marched into Mount Vernon gym on Monday and came away with a 51-35 victory over the Jackets.
The game itself was a unique matchup. Although Mount Vernon has met nearby schools in other sports, rarely does it happen in basketball.
It was Nov. 24, 1990, the last time the Yellow Jackets faced a Knox County team. On that Saturday, they traveled to Fredericktown and came away with a 53-25 win.
This result would be different.
The Jackets couldn’t have picked a tougher opponent. Centerburg (11-3) came off a Saturday win over Fredericktown. The Trojans also had the benefit of bringing many fans with them — from Centerburg and elsewhere in the county — to give them a neutral-court feeling, if not an outright home court advantage.
Both teams are quick down the court. Mount Vernon likes to get the ball to the post, while Centerburg looks for the open shot. However, both teams had been carried by defense in recent games, with both teams forcing turnovers.
Defense would dominate again on Monday.
Mount Vernon (3-10) has had quick starts lately, and Monday’s game was no exception, with the Jackets jumping out to a 9-2 lead following a 3-pointer by Keli Thompson and buckets by Chelsie Hayes and Sierra Basista.