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HILLSBORO, Mo. — Audra Pasakarnis buried a crucial 3-pointer, and scored a season-high 16 points on Saturday to help the Mineral Area women outlast Jefferson 68-63.
The Cardinals landed four players in double figures, and needed all of their production to counter a tremendous performance by Vikings center Jakayla Kirk.
Both teams shot 42 percent from the field, and Mineral Area (22-2) held on after carrying a slight 50-49 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Jefferson (15-7) trailed by five in the final minute, but Kirk backed down a defender in the post to score through contact. She ended with 35 points and 10 rebounds.
Following her missed free throw, Katelyn Chomko split a pair for the Cardinals, and Chaniya Felton brought the Vikings within 66-64 on a runner with 40 seconds left.
Rather than expend a majority of the shot clock, the Cardinals sealed the victory when Pasakarnis received a pass and connected wide open along the left side with 29.5 on the clock.
Jefferson kept possession after missing from long range, but an ensuing entry pass intended for Kirk was alertly stolen by Sydney Lewis.
Ashley Baragas had 13 points off the bench while Telia Graham scored 12 and Chomko finished with 11 for MAC. Lewis collected 10 rebounds, and Maddie Ayers provided four assists plus four steals.
Jefferson won the turnover margin by three, and was ahead 31-30 at halftime. Felton produced 14 points, five assists and four steals in defeat.
Mineral Area travels to face Three Rivers in a first-place Region 16 showdown on Wednesday.