QUINCY -- Dezi Jones, C.E. Talton and the Show-Me State boys made some history Saturday night.
The Missouri all-stars tried to erase nearly 35 years of bad mojo in the McDonald's/Herald-Whig Classic in one game, and they just about accomplished that with a 131-73 beatdown of their Illinois rivals, who boasted a 33-2 record in the series.
The 58-point margin of victory was just one record set in the contest. Jones, the 2019 Herald-Whig Player of the Year from Hannibal, set a new record for points scored with 45, once again proving his status as the top hooper in the area.
"I don't want to be cocky or nothing, but I felt like it was just another day on the court," Jones said after the game, holding his Missouri Most Outstanding Player trophy. "It was special though, winning this game was a good thing."
Missouri coach Marty Hull, who has been with Jones at Hannibal for the last two years, agreed what Jones did on Saturday isn't all that unexpected.
"To be honest, I've seen this so many times in two years that I'm just like, ‘Yeah, that's just Dezi,'" Hull said. "He makes hard shots, he makes easy shots, he makes up-and-unders, he is flying through the air and contorting his body. I have seen it in 50 games the last two years. It's just amazing some of the things he can do."
Jones' contributions went well beyond his points. He also tied for a game-high 12 rebounds, dished a game-high five assists and had five steals and two blocks.
"I like to do everything, I don't like to do one thing and be one type of guy," Jones said. "I just do everything and I like to be good all around."
Hull said at 5-foot-10, people don't necessarily expect Jones to be a strong rebounder, but they would be sorely mistaken.
"You don't see those stats, but Dezi averaged 7.5 rebounds at Hannibal this year," Hull said. "He just has a knack for getting rebounds. They take for granted his hops. He can get up and he has great timing. He has always been a terrific rebounder."
The records didn't stop with Jones. C.E. Talton from Monroe City nearly broke the previous scoring record of 37 points as well -- the mark stood since 2008 when Illinois' Ben Kearse made 10 3-pointers and finished with 37 points -- as he finished with 35.
It gave the dynamic Missouri duo 80 points, more than Illinois scored with a 10-man roster. Both Jones and Talton set a new record for field goals made with 15, and they both had double-doubles with Talton also hauling down 12 rebounds.
Jones and Talton both sat at 33 points with roughly 10 minutes remaining in the contest, and Talton said he was only a little upset he wasn't the one to set the new record.
"Yeah, I am, but hey it's alright. At least he got it and not someone on the other team did. I'm fine with that," Talton said with a laugh.
Hull soaked in every moment of watching Jones and Talton go off one last time.
"It was just greatness, I don't know what else I can say for those two," he said. "They are both going to have marvelous basketball careers in college, I was just the lucky coach that was here at the right time that was able to coach these kids. Just, wow."
Playing next to someone the quality of Jones brought out the best in Talton.
"It's a lot easier having someone that I can rely on when I can't my get shot off and he can put up points," Talton said. "Yeah, it's nice."
Even the players wearing the opposite jerseys found themselves watching in awe.
"It was amazing. Now I can go back and say, ‘Wow, I played against those guys,'" said Lane Ippensen, the Illinois Most Outstanding Player from Central. "They are good. Dezi is great. I have played on the same baseball team as him and C.E., they are both just damn good. They're really good.
"Actually I was over there kind of learning what they were doing so I could replicate it, but I'm not that good yet. I'll get there."
What made the accomplishments of the Missouri team, and Jones and Talton specifically, even more special was just how much their teammates enjoyed the show, as well as the packed crowd at Quincy University's Pepsi Arena.
"It's just a blessing to be able to coach such good kids," Hull said. "From the get-go they knew everybody's name, there wasn't even an introduction. Kids already knew each other, there was already chemistry, there was no selfishness. Dezi had 45, but everybody was still feeding, everybody was cheering on the sidelines, they were yelling, ‘hey, one more!' It was such a great group of kids."