PARK HILLS – Outstanding guard contributions proved to be the difference maker for the Mineral Area women’s basketball team during its second meeting against Region 16 rival Three Rivers on Saturday.
The Lady Cardinals suffered a 35-point loss in their previous clash with the Lady Raiders last month, but took control in the third quarter to win 73-53 in the rematch.
Mineral Area (12-14, 3-6) was fueled by an impressive stat line from reigning Region 16 Player of the Week, sophomore guard Hayley Winter, who finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
Freshman guard Shelby Moon piled on a career-high 25 points while shooting a scorching 7-of-11 from behind the arc.
The effort was not limited to the backcourt as Olivia White posted 10 points, and Allie Golden tallied eight points with seven rebounds. The Lady Cardinals finished with a plus-18 advantage on the boards.
Sophomore forward Ge’Naisha Robinson notched 12 points and seven rebounds for Three Rivers (21-7) while DeNayia Holmes added 10 points.
Mineral Area outscored the opposition 23-11 in the third quarter. Moon nailed her third 3-pointer just 10 seconds into the first possession.
Mid-range jumpers began falling and became a newfound weapon for the Lady Cardinals.
The low-post defense for MAC was exceptional, but the home team found issues keeping Three Rivers from getting offensive rebounds.
The Lady Raiders crashed the boards with ferocity, but could not capitalize on their extra possessions.
Moon continued firing, and sank another long-range shot to widen the Mineral Area advantage to 42-30 with 3:45 remaining in the third.
Winter fought through contact to drop in a layup for the Lady Cardinals before the period concluded.
Robinson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored at the buzzer, but Three Rivers still trailed 48-38.
Moon continued her rampage to sink three additional 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Winter repeatedly slashed into the lane to draw fouls, putting the Lady Cards in the bonus from the line with five minutes still to play.
She received a technical foul with 1:30 to go following an intense battle for a loose ball. Camdyn McDaniel sank each of the resulting foul shots to bring Three Rivers within 71-51.
The Lady Cards finished going 10-of-16 from the foul line, while the Lady Raiders went 9-of-23.
Sophomore guard Markeia Porter departed for Three Rivers due to injury with 3:45 remaining after driving aggressively and crashing to the floor.
Moon fouled out for the Lady Cardinals with just over a minute before the final buzzer, but they slowly added to the lead with free throws.
Three Rivers started hot with a 10-0 run over the first two minutes after MAC quickly opened with a 5-0 lead.
Mineral Area hurt itself early by missing open looks, similar to the attempts that went in during the second half.
Moon brought the score back even for the Lady Cardinals at 10-10 midway through the first quarter by scoring on two consecutive trips.
Sophomore Joya Smith recorded all four of her blocks in the first half for the Lady Raiders. They shot the 3-pointer often, but finished just 6-of-29.
Winter nailed a 30-foot jump shot to shrink the Mineral Area deficit to 25-23 three minutes prior to halftime.
More turnover trouble ensued for each team nearing the break, as the score was knotted 25-25.
MAC trailed the entire way in the previous meeting, including a 37-19 margin at the break.