By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells sophomore guard Natalie Ragland scored a game-high 21 points and junior guard Riley Bullock added 10 to lead the Lady Rams to a convincing 76-23 victory over the Castleberry Lady Lions Friday night in the District 6-3A opener at the MWHS gym.
Although the duo combined for 31 points, it was a team scoring effort as nine other Lady Rams figured in the scoring.
The Lady Rams played well offensively, but it was their defense that smothered the Lady Lions and put the game away.
“We got off to a slow start but we finally started executing our game plan,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “We put in a new press, and it worked well.
“I have been telling the girls all year long that our non-district schedule has been tough – we have played Santo, Decatur and several other state-ranked teams – and if we can just get to district and do the things we do well we would be OK.
“I also liked that our girls were looking to drive to the basket to score. We have got to work on shooting into the glass instead of across the glass.”
The Lady Rams won the game despite the fact that their tallest player, senior post Ashlynn Robinson, was sidelined with an ankle injury. Holman said Robinson would be in the lineup Tuesday at Lake Worth.
“I like the fact that we were able to get this win without having Ashlynn on the floor,” Holman said. “Getting her back on Tuesday will help us
underneath. She suited out (Friday night), but I didn’t want to chance playing her in a game like this.”
The Lady Rams scored on the outside and inside to begin the game.
Sophomore wing Ashley Valdez set the tone defensively when she stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup and a 2-0 advantage.