SEDALIA, Mo. – A superb third quarter from sophomore Makenzy Smith was key in helping the Mineral Area women’s basketball team emerge from a 15-point hole on Saturday evening.
Maya Brewer responded with seven consecutive points during a crucial stretch, however, and State Fair squared its season series with the Lady Cardinals by prevailing 62-54 at home.
State Fair (13-16, 4-6) delivered a 14-4 run over the final six minutes, forcing some key turnovers along the way, and converted 14-of-17 free throws in the victory.
Brewer netted 12 of her 21 points during the fourth quarter. Catie Kaifes notched 14 points and Grace Morrow added 11 for the Roadrunners.
The teams will meet again Tuesday in the first round of the Region 16 tournament. Mineral Area (15-11, 4-6) will host as the No. 4 seed based on a complicated list of tiebreaking criteria.
The Lady Cardinals trailed 37-26, but were initially sparked by two 3-pointers from Ella Gobald. Steals by Holly Forbes and Madison Reynolds preceded two more baskets by Smith.
Smith capped the 15-0 outburst with a successful floater, and drained her third triple overall to restore a four-point edge at 46-42. She totaled a career-high 19 points, and has reached double digits in each of her last eight contests.
Holly Forbes tallied 17 points while making an efficient 7-of-8 free throws, including a pair that gave Mineral Area its last lead at 50-48 with 7:21 remaining.
State Fair then seized control with a 9-0 spurt over the next four minutes. Brewer hit a go-ahead layup plus two free throws and a 3-pointer when MAC coughed up two offensive possessions.
The Lady Cardinals made their closest approach from there at 57-52, but ultimately suffered their third straight loss to close the regular season.
Five 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes powered the Roadrunners to a 22-9 advantage. Morrow muscled in a basket through contact to make it 29-14 in the second quarter.
Mineral Area answered with an 8-0 run as Mary Katherine Tucker and Lainey Bell provided their lone field goals from beyond the arc.
An errant pass was stolen just before halftime arrived, and Kaifes sank a 3-pointer for a 35-26 spread.