The State Fair Lady Roadrunners sprinted past Jefferson with a 30-8 second half run to win 74-48 in a Region 16 game on Wednesday at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
Jefferson scored on its first possession of the half to cut the State Fair lead to 36-29, but over the next 10 minutes shot 2 of 19 from the field.
“We were defending well,” said SFCC freshman guard Sannayiah Johnson. “We were talking to each other. Communication was good and our shots were falling.”
Johnson led the Lady Roadrunners with 16 points on the heels of a 15-point performance in a loss to Moberly on Saturday.
“She has gotten better the last four games,” said State Fair coach Kevin Bucher. “She takes the ball to the hole harder than most players I’ve seen, and the thing is she can elevate and hold her elevation and get a good shot off.”
Johnson got 12 of those points by driving to the rim.
“On the defensive end there were a lot of gaps,” she said. “My team opened it up for me so I went.”
State Fair benefited from having more depth than at any other point this year, playing with everybody healthy for the first time. Forward Julia Torres was back in the lineup for the first time in weeks and Kaci Cason played her second game since November.
“The last two days of practices, that’s what I’ve talked about, saying it’s so good to see everybody in uniform and out on the floor,” Bucher said. “A couple of them are still getting their legs. Those are two very important pieces of the puzzle and that’s why I played them, because they have to get their legs and their timing down to make the big stretch run.”
Facing a Jefferson College team that did not have a healthy player over 5-10, the Lady Roadrunners won the rebounding battle 50-38.
“We wanted to try and have more bigs against them and I thought that helped out,” Bucher said.
State Fair went on a 9-0 run in the first half, capped off by an Apiphany Woods steal and layup to make it 17-7. But State Fair could not extend the lead further as the teams traded baskets for the rest of the half.
“I wasn’t very happy in the first half and I let them know at halftime,” Bucher said. “But I thought we really came out and played the way we were supposed to play against a team that hasn’t won a game in the region. You have to take care of business. You can’t let a team hang around.”
After a Jefferson layup to open the second half, State Fair got a 3-pointer from Adella Randle-El and a layup from Johnson, followed by a basket by Cason inside. After a Jefferson basket, Woods scored inside and Randle-El blocked a shot, leading to a Johnson layup on the other end to make it 48-31.
“We have to swing the ball more to get more open looks and just run the floor in transition,” Randle-El said.
Over the first 12 minutes of the half, State Fair shot 12 of 22 from the field.
Randle-El finished with 13 points and Mia Wesley added 12.
Sierra Contreras led Jefferson with 18.
State Fair improved to 20-8 overall and 4-5 in Region 16, tied with Mineral Area for fourth place. The Lady Roadrunners will close the regular season at 5 p.m. Saturday at Mineral Area.
“They came to State Fair to play big games,” Bucher said of his players. “We had a big schedule first semester. I think that will help prepare us on the road. This is just one of three more games if we make it to the (Region 16) championship game to go to nationals.”
Jefferson dropped to 9-13 overall and 0-9 in the region.
SFCC at Mineral Area
5 p.m. Saturday at Park Hills
RADIO: 1050 AM