POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. – Sophomore transfer guard Bobby Parker scored 17 points, and the Mineral Area men’s basketball team opened its season Friday with a 72-61 victory over Link Year Prep.

Jamie Ahale drained five 3-pointers to finish with 15 points, and Lance Singh added 13. The Cardinals (1-0) forced 31 turnovers in a debut that featured multiple scoring spurts and lulls.

Mineral Area gained separation at 28-15 when Parker drilled back-to-back triples in the first half, but saw Link Year push back to within one possession.

Zach Cameron threw down his second dunk of the game during a 7-0 spurt that spurred the Cardinals to a 37-27 halftime advantage.

That margin swelled to 59-30 when Singh finished off a driving runner with 11:45 remaining. Link Year Prep made its closest approach at 69-58 with 4:55 to play.

Roman Young totaled eight assists for the Cardinals, who will be severely tested in night two of the Three Rivers Classic while facing 13th-ranked Tallahassee (Fla.)

Kevin Hamlet sank 7-of-8 free throws to tally nine points, and Dmonta Harris had eight for MAC.

Mike Hood scored a game-high 21 points in defeat.

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