SEDALIA, Mo. – Lamar Morgan made his first three shots in the opening minutes, and the unbeaten Mineral Area men’s basketball team never trailed on the road Saturday night.
The fifth-ranked Cardinals reached the midway juncture of Region 16 play with a convincing 79-52 triumph over State Fair, avenging a season-ending loss from last year.
Morgan netted 16 of his game-high 18 points in the first half. Devin Thomas grabbed seven rebounds, and equaled Shawn Roundtree with 12 points each for Mineral Area (23-0, 4-0).
Sophomore center Mark Laros keyed a 9-0 run off the bench with seven straight points, including a steal and slam, and finished with nine overall.
Consecutive offensive putbacks by Thomas and Morgan restored a 25-16 advantage, and Mineral Area only pulled farther away from there.
Morgan dunked in transition off an outlet pass from Amar Miller, and Roundtree drained a deep jumper as time expired at halftime for a 38-23 cushion.
Onteral Woodson scored 17 points to pace State Fair (11-11, 0-4), and knocked down a couple of late triples once the contest was well beyond reach.
Zac Cuthbertson entered the game shooting 46 percent from 3-point range, and went 3-of-4 against the Roadrunners while ending with 11 points.
His second perimeter shot created a 67-44 separation down the stretch after Thomas converted three second-chances baskets at the rim.
Mineral Area will continue Region 16 action at home against MSU-West Plains on Wednesday before traveling to Moberly next Saturday.
Colton Kolowski scored 13 points and Corey Mendez had nine for State Fair.