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State Fair tops Cardinals in high-scoring battle

SEDALIA, Mo. — Kenny Chery scored a game-high 28 points and State Fair scorched the nets to hand Mineral Area its first loss in Region 16 play on Saturday night.

Kevin Punter added 18 points and Joe Thomasson chipped in 14 as the Roadrunners prevailed 96-90, creating a three-way tie with MAC and Moberly at the midway mark of region play.

Shaquille Boga compiled 24 points and Jay Raulston netted 23 to lead four Cardinals in double figures. Denzel Reed had 15 and Leon Watkins totaled 14.

State Fair (16-6) surged ahead with a 13-0 run powered by three straight Thomasson baskets, and never trailed again after establishing a 20-11 advantage.

Mineral Area (18-4) knocked down 10 three-pointers plus 16-of-18 free throws overall, and made several approaches to within one possession.

A Raulston jump hook made it 28-27, and Watkins assisted Reed on a 3-point play that brought the margin to 42-40 before half-time.

Chery answered each of those threats with a 3-pointer, and State Fair eventually surged to a 80-64 lead as the visiting Cardinals battled through widespread foul trouble.

Back-to-back triples from Raulston and Watkins made it 51-50 early in the second half. Punter responded with a 3-pointer, and made a subsequent steal and lay-up for the Roadrunners.

State Fair finished 25-of-35 from the line.

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