PARK HILLS, Mo. — Three Rivers is two wins away from sweeping the regular season.
The 10th-ranked Raiders comfortably dispatched Mineral Area 85-54 on Wednesday in their final road game of the regular season.
The Raiders (17-0, 13-0 Region XVI) are two wins away from heading into the Region XVI Tournament as the undefeated top seed. They will host Jefferson at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Crowder on Wednesday is a game that was originally scheduled for Feb. 13.
In four games against Jefferson and Crowder, the Raiders have won by at least 34 points.
Autumn Dodd came off the bench to lead Three Rivers with 15 points on 6 for 7 shooting to go with seven rebounds. Three Rivers had 45 points off the bench compared to 11 for Mineral Area.
"This team, they get along so well, and they will go fight for each other," Three Rivers coach Alex Wiggs said. "When somebody is having an off game or is in foul trouble, they pick each other up and keep battling."
Dodd scored in double digits off the Three Rivers bench in eight of its first 10 games, but has been in a bit of a slump since March 3. She went six straight games shooting 33% or worse. She cracked 10 points against State Fair on Saturday but was 3 for 11 from the field.
Wiggs said Dodd put in about 300 extra shots Tuesday night.
"That just proves right there that if you put in the work, results will follow. So proud of her," Wiggs said.
Jamiyah Thomas, who has been dealing with hamstring issues, got 11 points in 6 minutes. She was the lone Raider to not play at least 12 minutes.
Montgomery, in particular, was hot early in the game and finished 5 for 9 with five rebounds.
"Our talks with Joi throughout the year has been, get aggressive from the get-go," Wiggs said. "I thought she picked a great night to get in that groove early on. She got it started, and we just followed along from there."
Mineral Area (8-12, 6-8) was within six points midway through the first quarter, but the Raiders close with a 13-2 run to go ahead by 17 points after the first quarter.
The Raiders pushed their lead to 25 at halftime and won both the third and fourth quarters by three points.
Mariah Stewart had nine points and 14 rebounds for Mineral Area. Jayla Sample led the Cardinals with 14 points, and Quincy Erickson got 12 points.
With the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the women's region coaches agreed before the season to hold a seed meeting for the tournament.
While the tournament seeds are unofficial until that meeting, all region teams played their full region schedule, and the traditional metrics to determine standings and tiebreakers are expected to apply at the seed meeting.
Wednesday's results have likely solidified the region standings. Mineral Area (8-12, 6-8) should host Jefferson (6-13, 3-9) in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed quarterfinal with the winner playing at 7 p.m. on April 8 at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
The region championship is 7 p.m. on April 10 and will be played at the higher seed.
Crowder (9-10, 7-6) should host State Fair (0-15, 0-13) in the other quarterfinal, with the winner playing at Moberly Area (15-4, 10-3).
While Mineral Area could still tie Crowder in the region standings, Crowder would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for the No. 3 seed.
The Region XVI winner this year for the women will receive an automatic bid to the national tournament. The men's region winner will still play the winner of Region IV in the district championship.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic