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Second-ranked Logan handles MAC again

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MAC Basketball

Mineral Area guard Jamir Price (1) looks to pass during the second half of a men's basketball game against Lake Land on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Park Hills.

PARK HILLS – Sean East showed excellent touch on mid-range shots when finding the slightest creases in the Mineral Area defense.

The sophomore guard scored 16 of his 26 points during the second half, and second-ranked John A. Logan downed the Cardinals 77-64 on Wednesday night to sweep the regular-season series.

Cobie Barnes added 16 points plus nine rebounds, and the Volunteers used their superior size to gain decisive control of the boards after intermission.

Mineral Area welcomed Keonte Jones and Kenan Sarvan back to the starting lineup – albeit nowhere near full physical strength – hoping to avenge an 80-65 loss from earlier this month.

The Cardinals committed only 10 turnovers, including two offensive fouls, but continued a miserable start to the season in terms of perimeter shooting by going just 2-of-16 overall.

Sophomore guard Jamir Price was the preferred offensive option on slashes, and paced MAC in defeat with 22 points while knocking down a perfect 7-of-7 free throws.

Terry Ford added 11 points with four assists for the Cardinals, who secured their final lead at 33-32 when Price converted a 3-point play with 2:17 left in the first half.

John A. Logan (5-0) answered with a perimeter lob from Barnes to strong center Sarion McGee, and East followed his own miss to restore a 38-35 advantage at the break.

East ignited his squad out of the locker room by first finding Barnes with a running skip pass for a 3-pointer, then sprinting the length of the court for a tip-in after stealing a MAC 2-on-1 push.

McGee muscled in a shot through contact, and East buried a couple of smooth floaters from about 13 or 14 feet as the visitors pushed the margin to 54-41.

Price cashed in from the stripe after drawing fouls on consecutive possessions, but the Cardinals had no defensive answers to combat the patient half-court style of the Volunteers.

Jones broke a 0-for-6 slump from the field while being hacked on a drive, but East found Cam Alford for an open 3-pointer that created the largest lead at 72-56 with 4:41 remaining.

McGee ended with 12 points, and Tujautae Williams chipped in 10 points with six rebounds as balanced Logan put four players in double figures.

Mineral Area (2-3) jumped in front 6-4 on a catch and finish on the low block by Price, but soon trailed 15-8 after reserve center K.J. Debrick netted back-to-back field goals on a layup and 19-foot jumper.

Ibo Drame leaped and reached high to catch a pass from Gavin Harris, and threw down a spectacular dunk for the Cardinals. East turned an ensuing reverse layup into a 3-point play that made it 20-13.

Ford assisted Harris on a give-and-go play, and knocked down a rare triple for his team before MAC eventually regained a momentary lead.

Jones had seven points for Mineral Area, which will travel Saturday to Lake Land for a rematch of a lopsided win in the season opener.

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