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Cardinals speed and team-play too much for Norsemen

PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area Cardinals extended their winning streak to 11 games on Wednesday with a 114-79 trouncing of the Florissant Valley Norsemen. The 22-4 Cardinals pushed the ball up the floor turning Flo Valley turnovers and missed shots into transition points on the other end of the floor and as time wore down so did the 9-17 Norsemen.

MAC’s scoring was a team effort as 11 players scored with six in double figures. The Cardinals speed and quickness got them several dunk opportunities and they delighted the home crowd with a total of 10 slams in the game by six different players.

Flo Valley started the scoring with a slam dunk of their own by Vincent Ferguson. The Cardinals had trouble gauging the basket to start the game, scoring only one basket out of their first seven shots with most of the shots coming from the perimeter.

When the Cardinals tried to go inside, the Norsemen forced MAC to turn the ball over, but Flo Valley could not take advantage as MAC’s defense shut down the Norsemen on offense by creating several turnovers.

MAC’s inability to score early was a concern for Coach Corey Tate as he called time to readjust the offense at the 16:15 mark. The Cardinals went on a seven point run with Chad Henderson capping it off with a three-pointer, making it Flo Valley’s turn to call time just 90 seconds after MAC’s time-out.

The scoring run continued to 11 points with Henderson hitting his second three. The Cardinals kept building their lead until it reached 20 points with 4:30 left in the half. Flo Valley’s turnovers allowed MAC to score baskets two or three at a time without the visitors getting off a shot in between.

The Cardinals went on a splurge of four slam dunks in a row late in the half with Tony Webb, Eric Stuckey, Tremaine Wilkerson and Chad Henderson doing the stuffing. The Cardinals held a 24 point advantage at the half, 59-35.

&#8220It’s good to get those. They’re confidence builders,” said Coach Tate of his team’s ability to stuff the ball in the hoop.

What seemed in high gear for the Norsemen shifted into overdrive in the second half as the Cardinals made fast break after fast break and Flo Valley obliged by trying to do the same. MAC reached a 30-point lead after Webb sank two free throws from being intentionally fouled on a fast break.

Mineral Area attacked the basket at will giving them a high shot percentage of 56 (41-73) from the floor. The Norsemen shot 45 percent (26-58) from the floor. Both teams were even in free throw shooting and the rebounding favored Mineral Area slightly, but what did make a large difference was the turnovers, which the Cardinals had a 14-26 advantage.

Flo Valley’s Ferguson led all scorers with 20 points, and Chris Forrest scored 17 points with four Norsemen in double figures.

Henderson was top point-man with 16 for the Cardinals. Stuckey had 14 points and 12 boards for a double-double, and Willie Hassell and Webb each scored 14 points.

The Cardinals will be in action again at home on Saturday when they will host Three Rivers as part of their Homecoming doubleheader with the Lady Cardinals.

Flo Valley 35 44 – 79

Mineral Area 59 55 – 114

Flo Valley – Ferguson 20, Forrest 17, Hart 13, Jones 12, Byrd 8, Jungk 8, Martin 1.

Mineral Area – Henderson 16, Stuckey 14, Webb 14, Hassell 14, Wilkerson 12, Claitt 11, Hicks 9, Mata 8, Butterfield 8, Britton 7, D Jones 1.

3-Pointers: Webb 2, Henderson 2, Hassell 2, Hart, Forrest.

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