PARK HILLS — Playing 10 straight games exclusively at home over the past five weeks has given the Mineral Area men’s basketball team some valuable confidence with Region XVI play looming on the horizon.
The Cardinals squandered a 15-point lead in the second half against resilient Truman College on Saturday night, but extended their impressive win streak to nine games with a 72-66 decision at the Sechrest Fieldhouse.
Freshman guard Bobby Peebles hit several key shots down the stretch for Mineral Area (11-2) with the most timely being a decisive three-point play on a baseline drive with 1:03 remaining.
Carlton Guyton matched Peebles with 14 points each and Drew Thomas netted 12 as the Cardinals compiled a 31-3 margin in bench scoring. Kaleb Wright corralled a game-high 12 rebounds during the action.
Martell Jackson paced all players with 23 points for Truman, and twice made game-tying shots during the closing minutes. His attacking finish made it 64-64 moments after Peebles stripped him for an uncontested layup.
The Falcons (7-6) made 15-of-26 free throws and landed four starters in double figures. Calvin Thomas finished with 13 points while Carde’ Pennington and Michael Jackson tallied 12 apiece.
MAC worked the basketball into the post for baskets from Martell Anderson and Al Rapier, resulting in the largest margin of the night at 50-35. But a number of forced errant shots gave Truman a needed opening to rally.
Calvin Thomas sparked the comeback with a 3-pointer, and a mid-range jumper from Pennington brought the Falcons within six. The recovery seemed unlikely following a five-minute scoreless drought to begin the contest.
Guyton buried an open triple and ensuing three-point play in transition, as MAC gradually surged ahead 10-0. Drew Thomas answered a modest Truman run with his second three of the first half.
The Cardinals surrendered just two field goals over the first 11 minutes, and carried a 33-23 advantage into the break.
Truman 23 43 – 66
Mineral Area 33 39 – 72
Truman – Ma Jackson 23, Thomas 13, Mi Jackson 12, Pennington 12, Ndjembi 3, Guider 2, Perkins 1. 3-point FG – Thomas 3, Pennington, Ma Jackson.
Mineral Area – Peebles 14, Guyton 14, Thomas 12, Rapier 6, Harris 4, Minner 4, Shorter 4, Raulston 4, Anderson 4, Crittendon 3, Wright 3. 3-point FG – Thomas 2, Guyton.
Mineral Area 98, Shawnee 54
ST. LOUIS — On Sunday, the Cardinals participated in the Rawlings Shoot-out held at Meramec College. The Cardinals made little work of Shawnee as they had four players in double figures, and they finished up the semester at 12-2 with a 98-54 win.
Martell Anderson led the team in scoring with 19 points, Riley Raulston was next at 17, and Carlton Guyton and Drew Thomas had 14 points each.
The Cardinals will play next in Iowa in the Indian Hills Shoot-out on December 29 against Western Nebraska.