PARK HILLS – Six sophomores scored in double figures for the Mineral Area men’s basketball team during Homecoming on Saturday night against State Fair.
The Cardinals executed excellent passing to find open shots and cap off the regular season with a 100-59 victory.
NJCAA No. 11 ranked Mineral Area (28-2, 6-2) defeated the Roadrunners 72-53 in their previous meeting.
The Cardinals will face Three Rivers on Friday in the Region 16 tournament semifinals after the teams split two previous games.
Sophomore guard Djibril Diallo came off the bench to post a game-high 24 points for Mineral Area. Sophomore Zac Cuthbertson slammed down two dunks, and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Devin Thomas grabbed seven rebounds, and equaled Shawn Roundtree with 11 points each. Tyler Kohl-Ross and Lamar Morgan added 10 apiece.
Sophomore Mark Laros contributed eight points and 10 rebounds as well.
Freshman Lorenzo Lawrence II posted 11 points for State Fair (11-18, 1-8), while Tyrone Gibbs notched 10 and Russell Baker scored nine.
The domination started right from the tip for the Cardinals. They accelerated to a 14-2 lead through the first seven minutes.
Amir Smith snapped the cold streak for the Roadrunners with a two-handed slam.
Mineral Area pushed the pace in transition to stretch its early advantage. Ross and Darius Thompson drained back-to-back three pointers midway through the first half, extending the margin to 20-7.
Cuthbertson found his first points two possessions later by flushing an alley-oop through the rim.
The Cardinals continued their offensive tear by getting the ball inside frequently for easy looks. Ross and Lamar Morgan evened the attack with outside shooting.
State Fair trailed 57-20 after often settling for contested jump shots.
Lawrence netted the first basket of the second half from long range for the Roadrunners after each side missed open layups.
Mineral Area still cut hard into the lane despite holding a large edge. Justin Storey converted a layup though contact for his first basket with 13 minutes remaining.
State Fair found the foul line often during the final eight minutes, but had no luck stopping the opposition from scoring.
Storey pushed the Cardinals to the century mark by putting back a miss with one minute to play.