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Mineral Area returns from break to remain unbeaten

Mineral Area guard Jacob Howell (32) heads back on defense during second half men’s basketball action against John A. Logan on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, in Poplar Bluff, Mo. (Matt King,

ST. LOUIS — Even with three players out due to injuries or illness, the Mineral Area men’s basketball team still brought plenty of firepower after a timely week without competition.

The 14th-ranked Cardinals landed six players in double figures, and delivered a strong defensive effort throughout the second half to wallop Lewis & Clark 103-50 at the STLCC Shootout.

Marcus Watson Jr. netted 13 of his 21 points after intermission, and Mineral Area (12-0) drained nine 3-point shots while outscoring the Trailblazers 55-21in the second stanza.

Preston Turner notched 18 points, and Amarion Dickerson added 17 after throwing down four dunks in transition. The Cardinals led 48-29 at the break.

Doreante Tucker, Dawson Civil and Savon Sutton were not available for action, but MAC established a 24-14 lead after Turner followed a 3-pointer with a mid-range jumper.

Josh Meo tallied 12 of his 15 points in the first half. Jacob Howell produced 14 points within a seven-minute stretch while striking four times from the perimeter.

Tyler Smith chipped in 10 points off the bench. Mineral Area opened up a 58-30 advantage when two triples by Watson bookended a 3-pointer from Meo.

Turner attacked for a conventional 3-point play that sparked a closing 13-0 run.

The Cardinals will take their unbeaten record to Olney Central on Wednesday.

Byron Stampley Jr. shared game-high scoring honors with 21 points after hitting five shots from long range, and Joshua Dickens added 14 for Lewis & Clark (1-8).

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