The State Fair Community College baseball team and agriculture students bolstered the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center bleachers Wednesday, providing welcomed cheers, jeers and energy for the Roadrunners basketball team.
Ultimately, the added volume was a reminder that baseball season begins in less than a week for State Fair, after the men’s basketball team lost its eighth game in a row, 75-73, to Indian Hills Community College in Sedalia.
Amir Smith led State Fair with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocks. He quickly established himself as a crowd favorite, landing two dunks in the first half and converting a second-half block into a coast-to-coast, behind-the-back layup to break a late tie.
After Smith’s score, Russel Baker’s left-handed floater made it 72-68 with less than two minutes to play.
Kenney Wormley tied the game on a goaltending call two possessions later. Indian Hills out-shot SFCC by two on the charity stripe in the final minute of regulation, and Vonny Irvin’s last-second lefty drive clanked off the rim.
Smith said he did not feel discouraged after the Roadrunners’ effort.
“After the way we played — how tough we played from start to finish — I can’t even be mad,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the guys, I’m proud of us as a whole and the way that we played. I just hope we can bottle it up and reproduce it on Saturday.”
The Roadrunners (11-15) host Moberly Area Community College 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Greyhounds delivered an 89-40 loss to State Fair on January 18th in Moberly.
Indian Hills tied the game at 31 with 3:04 left in the first half on a Jamel Allen breakaway dunk.
The Warriors led by a pair before Lorenzo Lawrence II drew a 3-point shooting foul on a last-second, half-court heave and sank each free throw to steal the lead, 38-37, at halftime.
Head coach Kevin Thomas said six second-half turnovers hurt the Roadrunners’ chances at its first win in over a month.
“I thought for the most part, I thought we competed and defended pretty well,” Thomas said. “We had four turnovers in the first half, which was amazing, their pressure didn’t bother us. In the second half, there were stretches where we turned it over against their three-quarter court trap.”
Irvin and Baker finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for State Fair, while Onteral Woodson Jr. added 10 points.
Indian Hills was led by Ivan Aurrecoechea, who had 27 points and 16 rebounds.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2