The Breckenridge Bucks completed the first leg of district play in dominant fashion by knocking off Merkel 51-28 on the road.
headline into the season, the trip to Merkel was expected to be a battle that determined first-place in the district standings.
The Badgers feature four senior starters, including All-Big Country post Chase Bowman, and were expected to challenge Breckenridge for the title.
After the first leg of district play, Breckenridge holds a two-game lead atop the standings.
The Bucks had a huge advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Badgers 39-24.
Senior Lane Morris and junior Clay Boaz combined for 21 rebounds.
"We did a great job hitting the boards," Bucks coach Rob Ogle said. "Clay (Boaz) and Lane (Morris) gave us a bunch of second-chances. We had 16 offensive boards which was huge."
The Bucks led 8-6 after the first quarter. A 9-0 run to open the second quarter helped Breckenridge build a 19-12 advantage headline into the halftime break.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Boaz and junior Caleb Spoon gave the Bucks a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter.
Breckenridge led 47-24 after starting the fourth period with an 11-2 run and coasted to an easy victory.
Spoon led the Bucks offense in scoring with a game-high 19 points.
Morris had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, including six offensive boards.
Boaz chipped in with nine points and 10 rebounds, collecting seven offensive boards.
Junior Rigo Gallegos tallied five points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Senior Gerardo Duron added two points.
Sophomore guard Anthony Ramirez accounted for five rebounds. He also led the team with seven assists and five steals.
Spoon added four rebounds and four assists.
Senior Alex Benitez and sophomore Alain Franco each had one rebound.
Gallegos and Morris swiped three steals apiece while Spoon had one steal.
Boaz had one steal and one assist.
The Bucks (19-3, 7-0) host Comanche at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25.