PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area men bounced back from their humbling loss to Moberly with a spirited start in front of the Homecoming crowd on Saturday night.
The 24th-ranked Cardinals opened with an explosive 16-2 run spanning about 4 ½ minutes, and stayed dominant in their longtime Region 16 rivalry against State Fair with a 69-55 triumph.
Dior Connors compiled 15 points with six assists, and four players reached double figures for MAC with superior and faster guards guiding the attack.
Dylan Williams totaled 14 points, five assists and three steals, and dribbled end to end before setting up Devon Barshow for a slam that marked the largest lead of the night at 69-46.
Amarion Dickerson unleashed three powerful dunks while notching 11 points, and Mitchell elevated to catch and flush a perimeter lob from Conners while chipping in 10.
Mineral Area (19-4, 5-2) committed just four turnovers in the first half, and executed numerous scoring plays on swift ball movement through the paint.
Amarion Wilson began the contest with a corner 3-pointer amid three early field goals. Conners and Williams added perimeter strikes, and Manu Musemena finished a fast-break layup while fouled.
State Fair (7-17, 1-7) departed with a seventh consecutive defeat, but not without regrouping before halftime with an emphasis on fierce rebounding.
Tazir Smith and Abou Wagne netted consecutive putbacks, and Josh Barlow likewise emerged from the bench for a transition follow to bring the Roadrunners within 24-23.
Mineral Area absorbed that 13-3 push by the visitors. Conners answered with his second 3-pointer, and Dickerson cashed in a Mitchell steal with a dunk to help restore a 35-28 edge at the break.
Wilson stole an errant pass and bounced a 2-on-1 assist to nearby Mitchell, who drained a triple on the ensuing MAC possession to punctuate a 12-0 run for a 49-31 advantage.
The Roadrunners were hampered by 20 turnovers, and lost scoreless starting guard Elijah Bernstein to five fouls when he was called for charging against Dickerson with 9:54 remaining.
Devon Ellis saw his first action for State Fair near the midway mark of the first half, but still became the game-high scorer with 16 points through a variety of jumpers and two perfect trips to the line.
Wague provided 11 points and 10 rebounds for State Fair.
Cardinals guard Za-Ontay Boothman did not play after suffering an upper body injury last week at Moberly.
MAC will travel outside of region play to Southeastern Iowa on Wednesday. A postponed home game with MSU-West Plains will be made up on Sunday.