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Cardinals turn up pressure to defeat Vincennes again

Mineral Area guard Maddie Ayers looks for an open teammate during first quarter women’s basketball action against SW Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Belleville, Ill. (Matt King,

VINCENNES, Ind. — Maddie Ayers and Sydney Lewis joined the starting lineup, and helped the Mineral Area women’s basketball team finish a quick road trip in strong fashion on Saturday.

The Cardinals outscored Vincennes 42-19 in the second half, and pulled away for an 82-58 victory in their second meeting this month.

Ayers, a former all-state guard at South Iron, compiled a season-high 21 points, eight assists and five steals while hitting 8-of-10 free throws.

Katelyn Chomko finished with 19 points and four steals, and Mineral Area (7-1) coaxed the host squad into 27 turnovers while committing 14 in the win.

Lewis secured her first double-double this season, collecting 11 rebounds while equaling teammate Remi Langmaid with 11 points.

After falling to Wabash Valley on Friday , the Cardinals briefly appeared to be in danger of an empty weekend after the Lady Blazers surged ahead 25-13 through one quarter.

Langmaid opened the second with a 3-pointer, however, and Chomko finished a driving layup before creating a steal and assist to Langamid for a sudden 7-0 response.

Two straight baskets from Telia Graham on a drive across the lane and dish from Ayers put MAC ahead 36-35 with 2:15 remaining until halftime.

The lead changed hands twice after Vincennes trailed 40-39 at the break, but the Cardinals began to gain separation when an 8-0 run followed a 44-44 tie.

Chomko notched two fast-break layups, and Ayers cashed in another steal by Langmaid before Audra Pasakarnis made it 56-46 with two free throws.

Jaelah Clayton sank each of her two field-goal attempts, and Mineral Area went 19-of-30 collectively from the line.

Elikya Baseyila powered Vincennes (2-4) with 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Taylor Guess tallied nine points and eight rebounds while Karina Scott knocked down three 3-pointers.

Wabash Valley 88, Mineral Area 70

VINCENNES, Ind. — A dazzling start by the Mineral Area women was negated by 29 turnovers and foul trouble against seventh-ranked Wabash Valley on Friday.

Beautiful Waheed compiled 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals, and the Warriors used a dominant second quarter to prevail 88-70 on a neutral court.

Although both teams shot 38 percent from the field, Wabash Valley (6-0) finished plus-12 in turnover margin and sank 27-of-40 free throws compared to 9-of-13 by the Cardinals.

Kuryn Brunson and Shamya Reid scored 17 points each, and Aaliyah Smith added 15 points, five steals and four assists as the Warriors dressed just eight players for the game.

Mineral Area (6-1) executed its plan to stall the fast-break attack of Wabash Valley in the first quarter, and jumped ahead 15-3 through five minutes in the battle of unbeaten clubs.

Telia Graham and Ashley Buragas each finished shots from the low post through contact, and 3-pointers by Remi Langmaid and Audra Pasakarnis also highlighted the opening run.

Jaelah Clayton closed the first quarter with another triple at 20-15, but the Cardinals went empty beyond the arc from there in a rough 3-of-20 performance.

Waheed began the second period with a putback, and Smith finished a spin move on a go-ahead drive at 27-26. A parade to the charity stripe helped Wabash Valley lead 39-29 at intermission.

The Cardinals battled to stay within single digits for a while, thanks to strong contributions from their forwards and scrappy work along the boards.

Graham shined in defeat with 17 points, 18 rebounds and three steals over 26 minutes, going 8-of-11 from the field. Buragas added 16 points, and Sydney Lewis had 12 points with eight rebounds.

Audra Pasakarnis provided a career-high nine assists plus nine points, and helped Lewis slash the deficit to 53-45 with consecutive field goals.

Graham later made it 56-49 before Brunson answered with back-to-back threes to spur the Warriors toward a crucial 17-4 run.

Mineral Area guard Katelyn Chomko reached double digits for the fifth straight game with 10 points, but struggled to a 4-of-18 shooting mark.

Waheed began the fourth quarter with a 3-point play, and Reid scored off an ensuing steal to create a 73-53 separation.

The Cardinals were assessed a late technical foul after unknowingly sending in a disqualified player, arguing that incorrect foul totals had been relayed to them from the scorer’s table.

Lewis and Buragas officially fouled out. The teams will have a rematch on Friday in Park Hills.

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