MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells head boys basketball coach Aaron Pappas was rightfully discouraged Tuesday night after the Rams fell to state-ranked No. 7 Burkburnett by 31 points.
With District 6-3A play starting today for the Rams (10-12) at 8 p.m. at Fort Worth Diamond Hill, he wanted his team to at least play well and ride the momentum into league play.
But Burkburnett is ranked high for a reason, and if anything it gave the team a look at what it may be like to face the 6-3A favorite, state-ranked No. 3 Kennedale.
But for today, the focus is on Diamond Hill and winning that first district contest.
“(The Burkburnett) game is over, and we have to focus on Diamond Hill,” Pappas said.
The Rams still are a work in progress, and there have been several bright spots.
Ricky Scott, an inside and outside scoring threat, leads the team with a 14 points per game average, followed by DeShawn Hicks with 11 points per game, Biren Clardy with 10 points per contest and A.J. Williams with eight points per game.
Hicks is a lightning-fast shooting guard who drives hard to the basket in either the lane or on the baseline.
Clardy, in his first year on varsity, is a talent that is learning and improving each week. He can also drive the lane, and is getting more adapt at kicking the ball out on dribble drives to the open man.
“Ricky has been our go-to guy lately,” Pappas said. “He can score inside and outside, and he hits the tough shots as well.
“Biren is just a sophomore, but he has been playing well lately and doing a good job of running the offense.
“DeShawn is our second-leading scorer, and we are trying to get him going; we really feel like he should score more. He gets a lot of looks in a game and takes a lot of shots, but when he is not on he struggles a little bit.
“We almost have four guys who are in double figures, but we need to get some bench players to come off the bench and score for us. If we can get that, we will be a hard team to defend.”