In their first home game in nearly a month, the State Fair Lady Roadrunners nearly recovered from a 32-point deficit against Mineral Area, but ultimately fell to the Lady Cardinals 72-63 on Homecoming Saturday.
The Lady Roadrunners were held to 17 points in the first half and shot 7-for-27 during that time. They were held scoreless for almost 10 minutes from the second to third quarter.
“We didn’t play very well,” head coach Kevin Bucher said about the team’s first-half performance.
Mineral Area opened the game with a 10-4 run.
TuTu Williams fell hard after being fouled on a putback jumper off the glass. The Lady Roadrunners trailed 26-17 as Williams limped to the free-throw line.
Despite the injury, Williams led State Fair with 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting from the field and had nine rebounds.
Hayley Winter led Mineral Area with 26 points. Her free-throws with 1:09 before half put the Lady Cardinals up 39-17.
State Fair’s largest deficit came down 53-21 late in the third quarter.
With four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, State Fair’s full court press began to eat away at the Mineral Area lead.
The Lady Roadrunners outscored the Lady Cardinals 27-14 in the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer from Zhanesha Dickerson brought State Fair within eight points with 2:30 to play. Another three from Sierra Clayborn with 37 seconds to play cut the Mineral Area lead to 67-60.
Bucher said injuries to the Lady Roadrunner backcourt held back their full-court press.
“We used to do that all year, without injuries,” Bucher said. “We haven’t been able to do that. Once we get everybody back we press full-court, non-stop.”
State Fair enters the Region 16 basketball tournament as the two-seed. They play either Three Rivers College or Moberly Area Community College at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Ozark Christian College Multipurpose Building in Joplin.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2