PARK HILLS – Lance Singh inbounded the basketball to nearby center Zach Cameron for a contested layup amid contact with 7:04 remaining in the first half.
The conventional 3-point play seemed innocent enough at the time, helping the Mineral Area men increase a modest 28-24 lead at home on Tuesday night.
But it actually ignited a devastating 33-0 run that spanned nearly 11 full minutes, and turned a tight game into a comfortable blowout.
Freshman guard Maurice Edwards provided a game-high 22 points off the bench, and the Cardinals defeated West Kentucky Tech 94-60 for their fifth consecutive win.
Bobby Parker scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half, and connected four times from long range as four players from Mineral Area (6-1) achieved double figures.
West Kentucky Tech (4-6) committed 16 turnovers before halftime, and yielded numerous transition baskets when Mineral Area created steals off an effective mid-court trap.
Jamie Ahale poked the ball away and made a layup for the game’s first field goal, and Parker took an outlet pass to the rim before his initial 3-pointer spotted MAC a 7-0 start.
Solid mid-range and perimeter shooting helped the smaller Stars hang around for a while. Devon Hart nailed five first-half shots, and Trey Wilder buried a triple to bring the visitors within four.
But the edge in athleticism and overall depth dictated the flow of the game from there, as the Mineral Area defense became increasingly stifling.
After Edwards used a cross-over move to finish a drive, Singh aggressively battled to win a loose ball on the floor. Two passes then set up a 3-pointer by reserve center Kevin Hamlet for a 43-24 advantage.
Parker dished to Singh for a dunk late in the half, and Dmonta Harris followed a missed shot with an uncontested putback just before time expired for a 51-24 cushion.
Edwards capped the lengthy run by dribbling end to end for a made layup and foul. Wilder finally ended the Stars’ drought by hitting a corner 21-footer with 16:11 to play.
Parker and Ahale connected on back-to-back threes midway through the second half, and Harris added another putback for an 85-50 separation.
Edwards polished off his solid night with a double-clutched shot from beyond the arc that narrowly beat the shot clock and created the largest lead of the night at 92-52.
Hamlet notched 12 of his 14 points in the first half, and Harris contributed 12 to the victory. Cameron had nine points with a game-high 10 rebounds, and Roman Young made seven assists for MAC.
Wilder shined for West Kentucky Tech by drilling 5-of-6 attempts from 3-point range, and ended with a team-high 21. Hart finished with 17 points and Chris Campbell chipped in 11.
Mineral Area returns to action this weekend with home games against Roane State (Tenn.) on Friday and Fort Scott (Kan.) on Saturday.