PARK HILLS – An assertive performance powered the Mineral Area men’s basketball team past Faith Prep 122-64 on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals shot the ball extraordinarily well, and seemed completely refreshed after escaping a double-overtime duel two days earlier against MSU-West Plains.
Sophomore Lamar Morgan topped all players with 24 points, and grabbed eight rebounds while Shawn Roundtree had 19.
Devin Thomas recorded a double-double inside with 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Sixth-ranked Mineral Area improved to 20-0 for the first time in school history ahead of a massive Region 16 showdown on Saturday.
The Cardinals welcome Moberly (19-0) for an unprecedented clash of unbeaten top-10 programs at Sechrest Fieldhouse.
Kevin Hunt posted a team-high 12 points for the Warriors. Both Curtis Reeder and Logan Willett scored 11 apiece, with Willett shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
Mineral Area started the game sinking three shots from long distance on five attempts, and made good on 16 total 3-pointers.
Amar Miller ended with 10 points, and caused defenders to lose their footing on several possessions by showcasing his superior quickness and ball handling in the first half.
Aside from impressive jump shooting, the Cardinals also drove the lane with purpose. Many finishes at the rim were produced by creative passing from Roundtree and Miller.
Djibril Diallo notched 17 points, and dropped in a 3-pointer to make it 48-26 with 3:30 to play in the first half, capping a 12-2 run.
Faith Prep frequently cut into open lanes, but struggled to finish at the basket against taller opposition.
The Cardinals committed only four turnovers, and were ahead 56-34 at halftime.
Mineral Area took a 69-38 advantage just three minutes into the second half at on a layup by Zac Cuthbertson, who totaled 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors had issues making open shots throughout the second half, but the Cardinals sank nearly every uncontested shot they attempted.
Back-to-back emphatic blocks from Cuthbertson and Thomas with ten minutes to play proved that the Cardinals were not going to slow down.
Darius Thompson scored 12 points, and spilt a pair of free throws to double up Faith Prep at 100-50.
Mineral Area called out and ran a successful play late that resulted in Justin Storey attacking baseline to throw down a massive two-handed dunk.