PARK HILLS — In a game that went down to the wire, it a was a matter of which team would have the ball last. The State Fair Roadrunners had it, and with 4.3 seconds on the clock State Fair’s Ariel Easton made one of her two free throws to give the visitors a 75-74 win over the Mineral Area Lady Cardinals.
New Zealand recruit Kate Alemann tied the game with a five-foot shot after Mineral Area made a steal on a State Fair inbound pass. Alemann, whose parents had traveled to see their daughter play, had a huge second half with 12 of her 16 points coming in the final 20 minutes.
The game was nip-and-tuck all the way with five lead changes and a tied score at nine times with the first happening at 15-15.
The Lady Cardinals opened the game on a 10-2 run, but as if someone turned the faucet up, their offense dried up and only free throws by Taylor Ignoto made movement on MAC’s side of the scoreboard. Ignoto was 7-7 at the stripe during the spell.
Mineral Area hit the offensive boards, but could not capitalize as they garnished three shots on two straight trips with each time coming up empty. Both teams had happy feet during the middle stretch of the half as travel calls became quite regular.
Alemann broke the scoring curse with a 10 foot jumper, and Nathalie Felipe scored at will to give her 12 points in the half. A pair of free throws by Felipe tied the game at 30-30. Easton scored on State Fair’s end, and only a missed free throw by Mineral Area kept the score from being tied at half-time.
The Lady Cardinals struggled offensively to start the second half, turning the ball over six times in the first five minutes, but they were able to hang close as the Roadrunners were misfiring on their end of the floor.
Haden cut the Roadrunners six point lead in half with her first three-pointer, and seconds later, Alemann grabbed an offensive board after a MAC missed free throw for the putback to tie the score at 50-50.
The two teams matched each other basket for basket in the final four minutes. Mineral Area failed to score after they called time with the score 74-72. The ball hit front rim, but after a State Fair time-out, The Lady Cardinals made a defensive steal, resulting in Alemann’s game-tying shot.
The Lady Cardinals are now back at .500 with an 11-11 record, and they will play next on Saturday at Vincennes.
State Fair 32 43 – 75
Mineral Area 31 43 – 74
SF – Ariel Easton 23, Ryneka Church 19, Jallisa Lewis 11, Jermisha Watson 10, Cheyenne Williams 8, Alexas Brown 2. 3-pt. FG – Easton 3, Church. FT – 17-20.
MAC – Taylor Ignoto 22, Kate Alemann 16, Nathalie Felipe 16, Hana Haden 8, Rita Banaszczak 5, Chelsea Pannier 4, Angela Randall 2, Courtney Knuckles 1. 3-pt. FG – Haden 2, Banaszczak, Ignoto. FT 18-22.