PARK HILLS – A surge in confidence and minutes for Mineral Area women’s basketball freshman Allie Golden has been paralleled by her recent steady production.
The former Potosi High School star has been less hesitant to shoot in recent outings, and has become a top interior defender while securing a consistent starting role.
Golden was among five Lady Cardinals to score double figures Wednesday evening – totaling 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals – in a 74-61 comeback victory at home over St. Louis.
“My shooting has gotten better overall, and that’s because Coach looked me right in the face and said ‘You need more repetition,’” Golden said. “And that was 100 percent true.”
“In high school, I never really had a chance to play the post,” she added. “It’s a different position, and I’ve doing some new things that I never thought I could before. Even if I make a mistake, my team has my back, and that really encourages me.”
Jolee Carswell and Khiandra Perry netted 13 points each, and Mineral Area (10-10) seized control with an emphatic 20-0 run during the third quarter.
The Lady Cardinals trailed 36-29 when starting guard Shelby Moon was assessed her fourth foul with 8:24 left in the stanza, and Hayley Winter had yet to score in the game.
But the visiting Archers began to show some fatigue while employing a seven-player rotation, and suffered a scoring drought that spanned nearly six full minutes.
Carswell swished a 3-pointer to trim a 40-33 deficit and spark the rally, then headed directly toward the tunnel when contact on the shot resulted in a bloody nose.
Winter made a tying steal and layup, then scored on an inbounds play to put Mineral Area ahead for the first time at 42-40 after the defense forced a 5-second violation.
Golden supplied eight points during the pivotal stanza, and Dominika Skrocka sank big a 3-pointer near its conclusion to help the Lady Cardinals lead 53-40.
“It was a very physical game. It was fun because we had to push our limits,” said Golden, who made six steals against Moberly on Saturday and has scored at least 10 points in her last four games. “Nobody gave us a break. You had to work the entire time. That type of situation makes us better.”
Winter dished out eight assists, grabbed eight rebounds, and equaled Skrocka with 11 points each in the win. MAC overcame 24 total turnovers by shooting 60 percent during the second half.
Chrishana Wilson finished right at her season average with a game-high 18 points for St. Louis (11-8), but her eight rebounds were almost seven below her typical output.
A combination of Golden, Carswell and Olivia White shared the responsibility of containing the Archers’ standout center with sophomore Hannah Taulien unable to play on Wednesday.
“Jo and I talked before the game, and decided there was no way we would let this girl terrorize us,” Golden said. “We wanted to make things as hard for her as she would for us.”
Alfreda Roberts powered in a putback to keep St. Louis within 62-55 down the stretch, but Mineral Area pushed the fast break to create a pair of insurance layups by Carswell.
The Lady Cardinals benefited from a commanding 35-4 edge in bench scoring, and will resume Region 16 action at State Fair on Saturday.
Shamiah Oliver notched 13 points and Erica Waeltermann added 11 for the Archers, who made just 5-of-25 attempts from 3-point range.
St. Louis still jumped ahead 12-4 as Oliver attacked the baseline for a layup and knocked down a triple on a third shot within the ensuing possession.
Mineral Area nearly threw the ball away moments later, but sophomore Laura Dick made a hustling save to Winter, who then found Golden open for a successful jumper.
Mineral Area got within 25-23 on another perimeter shot from Skrocka, but Wilson scored 10 points in the second quarter to help St. Louis carry a 34-27 lead into halftime.