PARK HILLS — It seems only fitting the Mineral Area Lady Cardinals hosted the Crowder Lady Roughriders on Saturday afternoon in the Region 16 opener for the Lady ‘Riders.
Fitting because it was Mineral Area who defeated Crowder for a Region 16 postseason tournament title last season in Jefferson City.
On Saturday, Mineral Area defeated Crowder 74-70 to send Mineral Area to 11-5 overall and 1-1 Region 16 and Crowder to 12-6 and 0-1.
Crowder travels Tuesday for a game outside Region 16 competition against NJCAA Division II No. 11-ranked North Arkansas in Harrison.
The Lady ‘Riders return home Saturday for a Region 16 contest against Three Rivers.
Saturday’s game between Mineral Area and Crowder needed a seismologist. Mineral Area outscored Crowder 21-12 in the first quarter, Crowder turned it around with a 24-9 second, and Mineral Area took a 45-44 lead after three quarters with a 15-8 third quarter.
Former McDonald County standout and sophomore guard Coley Ickes led Crowder with 17 points and her game included four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one blocked shot. She was on the court for 31 of a possible 40 minutes. Ickes made 7 of 15 shots from the field and 3-7 from 3-point range.
Birthday girl Alex Vogt, despite the loss, celebrated with 14 points, six rebounds, one steal, and three blocked shots. Vogt made 4-10 from the field and 6-9 from the line.
Michaela Mack, who played 32 minutes, added 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal. She enjoyed one of her best free throw shooting nights with a 6-6 effort at the stripe; Mack’s free throw percentage has been around 50 for most of the season.
Morgan Crawford finished with eight points and was one of three Crowder players who fouled out, joined by fellow starters Aubrie Ayers and Mack.
The Lady ‘Riders once again played without sophomore post Zahria White, whose absence on the interior has been spelled by freshmen Ayers and Bethaney Gilkey.
Ayers finished with two points, six rebounds, two assists, and three blocks, as freshmen Vogt and Ayers combined for six swats. Gilroy tallied three points and three rebounds.
Freshman small forward Holly Forbes led a balanced Mineral Area attack with 16 points and she made 6 of 10 free throws, nearly all of them in the fourth quarter. Forbes scored half of her points in the first quarter.
Freshman point guard Madison Reynolds finished with 12 points on 7-8 shooting from the stripe. She netted seven points in the fourth.
Makenzy Smith and Briar Johnson added 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Tyeshia Mitchell and Olivia White each had eight.
MINERAL AREA 74, CROWDER 70
Crowder 12 24 8 26 — 70
Mineral Area 21 9 15 29 — 74
CROWDER (12-6, 0-1) — Coley Ickes 17, Aubrie Ayers 2, Michaela Mack 12, Morgan Crawford 8, Alex Vogt 14, Tori Coulter 7, Maegan Bandimere 7, Bethaney Gilkey 3, Elle Williams 0.
MINERAL AREA (11-5, 1-1) — Madison Reynolds 12, Makenzy Smith 11, Ella Gobald 5, Mary Katherine Tucker 3, Holly Forbes 16, Tyeshia Mitchell 8, Briar Johnson 10, Olivia White 8, Ghost 1.