By TONY EIERDAM
Don’t look now, but the Mineral Wells Lady Rams basketball team is 3-0 in District 6-3A play.
Paced by 17 points from Pam Hopkins with Courtney Peña scoring a season-high 16 points, Tabby Santibanez reaching double figures with 13 and Natalie Ragland adding 10, the Lady Rams cruised past Fort Worth Diamond Hill, 80-6, and remain undefeated in the district and tied for first place with Kennedale.
The Lady Rams will be tested this coming week as they host rival Springtown on Tuesday and close out the first half of district action on Friday at Kennedale in what could be a game to determine outright first place.
“It is a wonderful feeling to be 3-0 in district,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “That was what we were hoping to be going into the last two district games (at home against Springtown and at Kennedale) of the first half of district play. It feels great.”
Holman said that although Diamond Hill did not really prepare the team for next week’s schedule against the top two finishers in district from last year, she said the good news was that everyone on the roster saw significant minutes.
“I knew everyone would get to play, and I wanted to play everyone equally,” she said.”That gave me a chance to see what our overall abilities are and what we need to work on next week to get ready for Springtown and Kennedale.
“Those two games next week will probably determine our place in the district standings.”
The Lady Rams came out and played pressure defense in the first half. The result? Diamond Hill was held scoreless in the first half.
Ragland scored all 10 of her points in the opening period and she basically took a rest for the remainder of the game, coming in at times to help move the offense and getting other girls involved. Ragland led the Lady Rams in scoring in the first two district games.
The Lady Rams led 19-0 after the first period, but in the second quarter the MWHS posts took over as Santibanez scored seven points and Ashlynn Robinson added five as the Lady Rams went on a 28-0 run to lead 47-0 at the half.
MWHS went on an 18-2 run in the third quarter as Diamond Hill scored both of its points from the free-throw line after a scoring drought of 18:47.
The Lady Eagles finally hit a bucket from the field with 44 seconds left to play – to cut the lead to 78-4 – and Diamond Hill scored again from the field with one second left as the Lady Rams remain undefeated in district play.