PARK HILLS — It was a matter of speed. The Mineral Area College Lady Cardinals were definitely the faster team as their offense consistently beat the Forest Park Lady Highlanders defense down the court for easy scores in posting a 76-41 win.
The Lady Cardinals were off and running from the opening tip as they quickly hit from inside and out for a 13-2 run capped by a three-pointer from Molly Barnes.
The Lady Highlanders called time to try and settle things down, resulting in a 6-0 run of their own, but it was all Mineral Area for the rest of the half as they scored 21 unanswered points before the horn sounded to give Forest Park their only relief.
MAC’s defense created 12 turnovers in the first half including three shot clock violations being called on the Lady Highlanders. The Lady Cardinals made good use of the 15 steals they had in the game with 27 of their points coming from Forest Park’s turnovers.
The Lady Cardinals (13-13) had four players scoring in double figures with Devonna Smith coming off the bench to take top honors with 12 points. Because of the nature of the game, Mineral Area’s bench outscored their own starters in matching Forest Parks’ total of 41 points.
MAC Coach Gary Koch alternated players constantly in the game, giving adequate playing time and adequate rest to each Lady Cardinal, with 11 of their 12 available members scoring in the game.
Starters Hanna Vette and Briannica Tye both scored 10 points along with Sonya Milford who also pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the team in that category.
The game did not change its complexion in the second half as the Lady Cardinals dominated their guests in the final 20 minutes as well.
Point guard Briannica Tye played an inspirational game on defense as well as on offense with four steals and seven assists to lead the team in both areas. Tye’s behind back passes and speedy drives not only baffled Forest Park defenders, but it delighted the hometown fans as well.
The Lady Cardinals will travel to Poplar Bluff on Saturday for a doubleheader with the men’s team against Three Rivers.
Forest Park 18 23 - 41
Mineral Area 39 37 - 76
FP - Ashley Caldwell 12, Laurie Bell 10, Jasmine Jackson 8, Kiara Pulliam 6, Ashleigh Collins 4, Tranae Avery 1. 3-point FG - Bell.
MAC - Devonna Smith 12, Briannica Tye 10, Hanna Vette 10, Sonya Milford 10, Kate Alemann 9, Molly Barnes 8, Tori Williams 6, Kylie Oertel 4, Emily Brummitt 3, Bethany Thompson 2, Rita Banaszczak 2. 3-point FG - Vette 2, Brummitt, Barnes.