PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area men’s basketball team remains unbeaten after an emphatic 100-45 victory over the Missouri Baptist junior varsity on Wednesday night.
The sixth-ranked Cardinals lengthened their win streak to 18 games following an overtime scare at Three Rivers on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Zac Cuthbertson was scoring from everywhere on the court, including three dunks and three 3-pointers, while finishing with 23 points for Mineral Area (18-0).
Four of his teammates also reached double figures. Djibril Diallo had 17 points with six rebounds and Mark Laros recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Shaun Roundtree started the second half by hitting his second 3-point shot of the game in the first 20 seconds, and posted 11 points along with four steals. Sophomore Lamar Morgan also had 11 points.
Freshman Allen Erby topped the Spartans by scoring 17 points, and Tim Bagget was next with six.
Missouri Baptist hung around in the opening minutes by cutting hard to the basket for layups, butuntil the Cardinals began taking charges in the paint.
The Spartans also crippled themselves with a multitude of fouls in the early action. This gave the Cardinals leverage at the free throw line as they went 18-of-22, compared to just 6-of-12 for Missouri Baptist.
Mineral Area hit at a high percentage from behind the arc, making nine 3-pointers and going 8-of-10 from the foul line in the first half.
The Cardinals ran hard in transition as well, but committed many of their 17 turnovers trying to push the ball up the floor.
Missouri Baptist had difficulty moving the ball against the merciless full-court pressure applied by the Cardinals over the majority of the game.
Many mistakes occurred in the paint for the Spartans, as they would lose the ball trying to get looks near the rim and ended with 24 turnovers.
Mineral Area was ahead 53-25 at halftime after freshman Justin Storey flushed a one-handed dunk in the last second of the period.
The Cardinals scored on their first five possessions out of the break, with four of those baskets coming in transition.
MAC returns to Region 16 competition on Saturday night at MSU-West Plains.