The Cardinals had a chance to do what some didn’t see coming just a few weeks ago – take sole possession of first place in District 12-3A play. Melissa easily topped Community 52-38 on Jan. 24 to improve to 4-0 and then went into Bonham the following Tuesday to take on the 3-1 Warriors.

Melissa led early but Bonham rallied in the second half and was able to take down the Mighty Cardinals. Both teams now sit comfortably at the top of the district with 4-1 records, with the two squads splitting their games this season.

If the teams are able to close out their seasons and finish 7-1, a game for first-place seeding might be necessary.

Bonham 42, Melissa 35

Looking to win their fifth straight district contest, Melissa traveled to Bonham on Tuesday night to take on the red-hot Warriors.Despite a strong start, the Cardinals could not hold on late. Bonham rallied in the second half to win 42-35 on its home court.

Sheldon Moore helped Melissa get off to a fast start with a 3-pointer and two free throws in the opening quarter. Connor Bazis had three points in the first to help Melissa take a 12-8 lead.

Bonham’s defense clamped down in the second quarter though, holding Melissa to just one field goal - a three from Moore - and just six points as a team. At the end of the first half, the score was knotted at 18-all.

Bazis accounted for all seven of Melissa’s third quarter points as the stifling Warrior defense continued to give the Cardinals fits. Going into the fourth quarter Bonham was able to build a five point lead.

Ragon hit a three in the fourth and Bazis added a field goal but it was not enough to erase the Bonham advantage as the Warriors went on to win by seven.

Melissa had just one player score in double digits as it was led by Bazis’ 12. Moore added eight for the Cardinals and Joe Ragon finished the game with seven. Other Melissa scorers included: Cory Regan (3), Christian Cabil (2) and Karson Munson (2).

M 12 6 7 10 — 35

B 8 10 12 12 — 42