CARTERVILLE, Ill. — The Mineral Area women’s basketball team posted its second straight convincing win at the John A. Logan Classic on Sunday to punctuate an impressive opening weekend.
The Lady Cardinals forced 25 turnovers and patiently shot 55 percent from the field in an 80-45 victory over Kankakee (Ill.)
Chelsea Roberts powered her way to a game-high 15 points, going 6-of-7 from the floor, and produced five steals on defense.
Courtney Knuckles, one of three returning sophomores to the MAC roster, added 13 points and Ashleigh Bow scored 10 in the victory.
Tonishay Risby netted 10 points for Kankakee, which converted only three field goals over the final 15-minute span of the first half.
Knuckles capped a 10-0 spurt that put the Lady Cardinals ahead to stay with a 3-pointer, and point guard Janelle Travis connected on another triple after a quick release for a 19-10 advantage.
Mineral Area mostly controlled the paint on both ends of the court after allowing an early driving layup to opposing guard Sarafina Handy.
Bow made a nifty interior feed to freshman center Tayla Corrigan for an easy basket, then assisted Chelsea Pannier in transition following a steal midway through the first half.
Central graduate Riley Owens drilled two pull-up jumpers, and the superior Mineral Area depth further showed when forward Courtney Fisher combined with Corrigan to grab four offensive rebounds in a single possession.
The Lady Cardinals steadily extended their 44-24 halftime lead as Roberts twice attacked open lanes for successful layups.
Kankakee got a jump hook and putback from center Manuella Kanmegni on consecutive trips, but each of those baskets was immediately answered when MAC beat the Lady Cavaliers down the floor.
A steal and uncontested layup from Travis made it 62-30 with nearly 11 minutes to play. Frequent foul calls sent each squad to the free-throw line over the remaining action.
Corrigan compiled 10 rebounds with four steals, and Travis dished out five assists for Mineral Area (2-0). Fisher tallied nine points and Brittany Lawson chipped in eight.
MAC had an even stronger shooting performance during its initial game on Saturday, going 59 percent in a 93-51 rout over Elgin (Ill.)
Pannier paced five Lady Cardinals in double figures with 19 points. Bow and Travis each scored 15 while Corrigan added 12 and Roberts had 10.
Mineral Area compiled 15 steals and led 47-17 at intermission.
Mineral Area 44 36 - 80
Kankakee 24 21 - 45
Mineral Area - Chelsea Roberts 15, Courtney Knuckles 13, Ashleigh Bow 10, Courtney Fisher 9, Brittany Lawson 8, Janelle Travis 7, Taylor Corrigan 6, Chelsea Pannier 6, Riley Owens 4, Katelyn Sager 2. 3-point FG - Knuckles, Travis. FT: 16-26.
Kankakee - Tonishay Risby 10, Sarafina Hardy 9, Manuella Kanmegni 8, Casey Bronson 6, Macy Brown 5, Abbey Warner 3, Kayla Contreras 2, Alyssa Kolberg 2. 3-point FG - Risby, Brown. FT: 17-23.