MOBERLY, Mo. — Raiders vs. Greyhounds III had fewer fireworks than part two.
A chippy game early, but ultimately clean, Moberly Area built a 20-point lead late in the first half and stayed in control throughout the second to beat Three Rivers 103-71 on Wednesday in Moberly.
"We're not playing very well. I should probably give Moberly more credit, but (we're) just not playing very well," Three Rivers coach Brian Bess said. "And we're not getting enough practice time either."
With the loss, Three Rivers is now three games back of Moberly Area (12-7, 5-5 Region XVI) for third place in the region. With State Fair's 64-46 loss to second-ranked and undefeated Mineral Area on Wednesday, Three Rivers and State Fair will play in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 play-in game of the Region XVI Tournament.
The Raiders host State Fair at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Libla Family Sports Complex. The winner will hold the head-to-head tiebreaker and will likely host the play-in game.
"State Fair is hungry, and we have our work cut out for us. I'm hoping we're hungry," Bess said.
Three Rivers beat the Roadrunners 82-78 on Feb. 22, and State Fair earned a forfeit win against Three Rivers due to consequences of a postgame fight between Three Rivers and Moberly Area on March 3.
Three Rivers (8-10, 2-8) has one remaining region game after State Fair on March 24 at Mineral Area. The Roadrunners host MSU-West Plains on March 24 and play at Moberly Area on March 27.
After an opening 15 minutes of back and forth action, Cortez Mosley, who had 28 points on 10 for 13 shooting, made a 3 that put the Greyhounds ahead by eight. The Raiders turned it over on their inbounds pass and called a timeout with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
Off the inbounds, Jordan Persad drove and kicked to Aaron Burt under the hoop, and he gave Moberly the first double-digit lead. The Greyhound run continued, and they pushed their lead to as much as 22 points before halftime.
The Raiders cut the lead to 15 points with 15 minutes remaining in the second half, but the Greyhounds called a timeout and soon rebuilt their 20-point advantage.
Burt grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked out to Mosley for an open 3 that put Moberly Area up by 30 with 9 minutes remaining.
"I think we're in our own way a little bit. I don't know what's causing that," Bess said. "I don't want them giving up, and I feel they kind of did at times tonight, and I didn't like that. We've been, pretty much every game, battling. Had a lot of them go to the wire, just not quite over the top yet. Tonight we didn't battle."
The Greyhounds had six players in double figures, including all five starters.
Burt had 16 points, Tyren Moore had 13, Sincere Parker got 12, and Dezi Jones had 11. Antoine Bloxton came off the bench for 10 points in 7 minutes of playing time.
Three Rivers committed 25 turnovers to Moberly Area's 10 and was minus-15 on points off turnovers. The Raiders were also minus-9 on second-chance points, with Moberly Area grabbing four more offensive rebounds.
Moberly Area shot 45.7% overall compared to Three Rivers' 42.4%, but the Greyhounds attempted 15 more shots and were 18 for 26 on free throws while the Raiders were 8 for 13.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic