By TONY EIERDAM
SPRINGTOWN – Ever since coming back from 29 down in the second half to defeat Castleberry almost two weeks ago, the Mineral Wells Rams have done a consistent job of starting fast from the opening tip.
Friday night at Springtown in a key District 6-3A showdown, it was no different.
The Rams scored 20 points in the first quarter and added 21 in the second to take a comfortable 14-point lead at the half, and when leading scorer Biren Clardy nailed a three-pointer seconds into the third quarter to extend the lead to 17, it appeared the Rams were well on their way to solidifying their position in second place in the standings.
Clardy’s three to begin the half should have been a reminder to Springtown, which fell to MWHS in the first half of district play, that the Porcupines are not ready to see the upper portion of the league standings.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the game changed after that trey.
Springtown’s defense limited the Rams to a mere two layups for the rest of the quarter, and the Porcupines put on a defensive clinic in the fourth period by not allowing a field goal and allowing only one point as the Porcupines stunned the Rams with a 54-49 comeback win that puts SHS and MWHS in a tie for second place – two games behind state-ranked No. 2 Kennedale – with three district contests remaining.
“They played good defense on Biren and Nick, and nobody else were making their shots,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. Clardy, the Rams’ leading scorer, was held to 17 points – 14 of which came in the first half – while Wendt finished with six.
“Springtown,”Pappas continued, “did a good job of game planning and they made adjustments in the second half. They just slowed us down to a crawl. We had one point in the fourth quarter and just eight for the second half, an that’s not how we play.