CARTERVILLE, Ill. – A balanced performance was evident, both on the shot chart and in the scoring column, on Saturday for the Mineral Area women’s basketball team.
Five players netted double digits for the Cardinals, who connected on 10-of-28 attempts from 3-point range while pulling away from John A. Logan 83-64.
Sophomore center Michell Butler compiled game highs with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in the victory as both teams returned from their respective holiday breaks spanning three weeks or longer.
Mineral Area (13-6) limited its final turnover count to 11, and used effective extra passes to unofficially generate 27 assists on 33 made field goals.
Destiny Williams dished out nine assists, and equaled Katelyn Chomko with 14 points each. Lexi McCully provided 13 points plus five assists.
John A. Logan (5-8) arrived at its home court already at a disadvantage with just seven players in uniform, but stayed within striking distance until foul trouble began to surface.
Starting guard Madison Calvin and reserve forward Rhylea Johnson each picked up their fourth fouls before the midway mark of the third quarter, and sat for significant stretches of action.
Mineral Area extended its 43-37 lead with a quick 9-0 spurt. Audra Pasakarnis nailed two jumpers, and McCully made a smooth interior pass to Bulter before scoring her own basket on an inbounds play.
The margin reached 62-47 entering the fourth quarter, and Chomko drilled a wide-open triple before Gabby Moore heated up with 12 quick points on four threes in a five-minute flurry.
The final basket from Butler, who established herself early as a threat in the paint, created the largest separation of the game at 82-57. The healthy double-double was her third of the season.
Cheyenne Trotter paced the Lady Vols with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Logan jumped ahead 9-8 on 3-pointers by Shmyira Brown, Tylei Wofford-Bryd and Trotter.
The Cardinals answered with three consecutive triples from McCully, Chomko and Williams, and capped the first quarter on a 15-4 run to lead 22-9.
Calvin started the second with a driving layup, then zipped an outlet pass to Alivia Hartmann for another fast-break finish to draw within 25-22.
Mineral Area pushed back by finding Butler for a strong catch and finish in traffic. Williams delivered a sharp pass to Mannie Amaefula for a 32-23 advantage following an offensive rebound by Pasakarnis.
Calvin and McCully traded triples after the halftime difference stood at 37-30. Although more contact seemed to be permitted after the intermission, Butler powered through it for a subsequent third-chance putback.
Pasakarnis tallied nine points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Cardinals, who will face the Williams Baptist junior varsity on Wednesday before resuming the Region 16 schedule.
Wofford-Byrd and Hartman each netted 11 points while Brown scored 10 and Johnson chipped in nine for the Lady Vols, who narrowly fell to MAC 69-66 in the season opener.