With the bitter taste of a 97-69 loss to the Moberly Area Community College Greyhounds still very much on their minds, the State Fair Community College Roadrunners got the sweet taste of revenge before a Homecoming crowd with an 86-80 Region XVI victory over the ‘Hounds Saturday night at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
The Roadrunners improved to 20-7 overall and 5-1 in Region XVI.
In this long and often heated rivalry that dates back to the early 70s, the ‘Hounds still own the overall historical series 68-31. Moberly fell to 20-7 overall and 3-3 in Region XVI play.
SFCC got intimidated in the earlier game this season, but they did a little intimidating on their home floor Saturday night.
After Moberly’s T.J. White took the opening tip for an uncontested, ferocious slam dunk, the Roadrunners ran off six straight points, four by Kevin Punter and two by Kenny Chery for a 6-2 lead.
White closed the gap to 6-5 on a three-point play, but Chery hit his first trey on the night to give his team a 9-5 lead.
The Roadrunners tight man-to-man defense and press and trap later in the half kept the Greyhounds from mounting any consistent offensive runs.
Moberly crept within 10-9 on a trey by Trent Washington.
Moberly, who shot 46.9 percent from the field in the first half, missed numerous close-range shots and SFCC couldn’t seem to miss. The Roadrunners shot 57.1 percent inside the three-point line in the first half and made six of 13 three-point attempts (46.2 percent).
Punter and Chery each nailed a pair of treys in the first half.
Moberly took a brief 12-11 lead on a trey by Evan Singletary, but starting with a bucket by Jacob Williams, the Roadrunners never trailed the rest of the half. They led by as many as 15 at 47-32 on Chery’s second trey of the opening half.
Chery scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the first half.
What is normally a raucous Moberly following were almost dead silent as their squad left the floor trailing the Roadrunners 47-36 at halftime.
Chery gunned in his third trey from the top of the key to give SFCC a 14-point cushion at 50-36.
However, anyone who has witnessed games in this series over the last 30 years, know that the game is never over until the final horn.
Moberly started pressing and trapping and got their well-known running game going. SFCC went almost six minutes without scoring until Chery made a steal and layup to give the Roadrunners a 52-42 lead.
Moberly cut it to 52-45 and could have been closer but the ‘Hounds missed the front end of three 1-and-1 free throw situations in the middle of the second half.
State Fair cranked it up again, going on a 9-0 run topped by a Joe Thomasson trey to give the Roadrunners a 61-45 lead.
Late in the half with SFCC up 75-63, the Roadrunners went cold and they committed a lot of turnovers against Moberly’s press, trap and double-teaming the SFCC ball handlers. Moberly went on a 12-2 run to close within 77-75 with just over three minutes left.
It became a free throw shooting contest. Thomasson became a hero by making three of four from the line and added a driving layup in the final 1:45 of the game to give SFCC an 82-75 lead.
After Moberly got within 82-80, Punter made four of four from the stripe as SFCC expired the remaining seconds off the clock.
Chery led the Roadrunners with 27 points with three treys and made eight of 10 from the free throw line. Punter added 24 points with two treys, made all eight of his free throw attempts and hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds. Thomasson scored 19 with two treys and made nine of 12 free throws.
For the game, the Roadrunners made 26 of 33 free throws (78 percent). Moberly made eight of 15 from the line (53 percent) and shot 45 percent from the field.
Moberly 62, State Fair 59
The Lady Roadrunners, 19-8, let a second straight game slip right through their fingers. SFCC couldn’t make a shot or a free throw down the stretch and couldn’t handle the ball.
The Lady Roadrunners, who led 32-29 at the half, shot just 29 percent from the field and were 0-for-9 from three-point land. They made 27 of 37 shots from the free throw line and committed 13 turnovers.
Adella Randle El and Sannayiahh Johnson led the Lady Roadrunners with 15 points each. Antoinette Taylor added 10. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.