BY TONY EIERDAM
SANTO – Perhaps the only moment when this unique girls’ basketball matchup between Palo Pinto County schools Mineral Wells and the Santo showed any sense of familiarity was when Santo sophomore post Chasen Howard hugged her old Mineral Wells Junior High School coach, current Lady Rams varsity head coach Leslie Holman, during pregame introductions.
The Ladycats have two players formerly student athletes at Mineral Wells ISD in Howard and Courtney Flanagan, who played at MWJH and one year at MWHS.
But despite the “friendly rivalry” both teams were more focused on themselves and getting prepared for district play in january.
“Honestly, this was just another game,” Santo senior point guard Breeanna Raffaele said. “It was just another game to play for us to get ready for district and the playoffs, where we want to get over the hump of (losing in the) regional quarterfinals.”
And play they did. Paced by a smothering defense and a patient offense, the Ladycats defeated the Lady Rams, 34-24, Tuesday night at Santo.
The win raises the Ladycats’ mark to 9-4, while the Lady Rams drop to 3-11.
The Ladycats were coming off an impressive performance last weekend at the Granbury tournament, where they defeated Class 4A Granbury and Class 3A Stephenville and lost by just seven points to Class 4A No. 10 Amarillo High School.
“I am pretty proud of our team, but we have more to show,” Breeanna Raffaele said. “We have to more to show, no doubt.”
The Ladycats showed on Tuesday that it is a team that can play defense, limiting the Lady Rams to single digits in the first three quarters.
“We hang our hat on playing strong defense and getting on the boards,” Ladycats head coach Tony Raffaele said.”That’s what we do, and that’s one of the things we did (Tuesday) and throughout the Granbury tournament.