QUINCY -- Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball coach Kevin Meyer was going over a scouting report on Palmyra with senior guard Mac Little before Tuesday's game when he asked him who he wanted to guard.
"Macker's our leader. He's our coach on the floor," Meyer said. "So when I said, 'Who do you want to guard?', he shook his head, giggled and said, 'Ragar, of course.'"
Ragar McKinney, a 6-foot-2 sophomore for Palmyra, is Little's cousin. Ragar is one of four children of Brian and Carrie McKinney, and Mac is one of six children of Pete and Kelly (McKinney) Little.
Ragar and Mac played against each other last year in Palmyra. They both were looking forward to Tuesday night's game, which QND won 80-68, but neither of them talked about it in advance.
They saved all their talking for the floor.
"It's pretty fun," Mac said. "When the game stops, you just look at each other and smile. If one of us would make a layup, we'd look at the other and say, 'Your turn.'
"It's kind of a bragging rights game for Christmas time."
"We were talking the whole time during the game," Ragar said.
Watching her grandsons gave Ann McKinney goose bumps.
"I hated it that Macker was guarding Ragar," she said. "I wish he wasn't guarding him.
"But I don't fret about it. I love it."
The cousins said they likely would get to play against each other later this month when their families gather during the holidays.
"Someone usually has a hoop, and we get in some 21 or some two versus two," Macker said. "Everybody plays. All of my siblings will play."
"My old man plays, too," Ragar said with a smile.
Carrie McKinney, an assistant coach on the girls team at Palmyra, was a standout player for the Panthers during her playing days. Asked if his mother would join in the pickup games, Ragar said, "Oh, no, Mom's done."
"Our moms just make the food and then they yell at us, 'Food's ready,' when it's time to stop," Mac said.
Grandma Ann proudly wore a special shirt on Tuesday that she had made for cross-river rivalry games involving her grandchildren. It has a Palmyra logo and a QND logo on it, and she also wears buttons with pictures of both boys.
"I think it's her prized possession," Mac said.
She's not ready to put her shirt away after this year.
"There will come a time when McKenna (Mac's younger sister) will be playing Riley (Ragar's younger sister)," Grandma Ann said. "I'm going to have to get new buttons, too."