MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
The last time Mineral Wells played Diamond Hill, it took until almost the fourth quarter for the Rams to take the lead.
MWHS used pressure defense in the second half to try and wear down the Eagles, and the tactic worked.
Tuesday night in the District 6-3A rematch at the MWHS gym, Rams head coach Aaron Pappas decided to put defensive pressure on the Eagles at the opening tip.
The strategy worked again as the Rams took advantage of early Diamond Hill turnovers and raced to a 10-0 lead on their way to a convincing 81-55 victory.
The win evens the Rams’ overall mark to 14-14 and raises their 6-3A mark to 4-2.
The victory also sets up a battle for second place Friday at home against Springtown, which also won on Tuesday.
“It was a total team effort, and I liked the defensive pressure that we applied,” Pappas said. “The score was a little deceiving; they played without their best player (Freddy Anguiano) who averages about 15 points per game.
“But I thought our effort was good, and people off the bench were ready to go.
“We were a little sluggish in the first half, but we just stuck with our pressure defense and it got to them.”
Junior guard Reece Tarver started the early tun with a three-point basket from the right perimeter.
After an Eagles’ turnover, senior forward A.J Williams scored on a short jumper from the paint for a 5-0 advantage.
The Rams continued to stay hot from the field as senior post Ricky Scott connected on a short baseline field goal, and after another Eagles’ turnover – courtesy of the Rams’ pressure defense – Williams was fouled and connected on one of two free throws.
MWHS completed its 10-0 run when Williams nailed a jumper from near the free throw line.