Mineral Wells Index
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.
Scrappy Diamond Hill scratched its way back to cut the lead to 12-5 before Rascellis Williams stole pass and found sophomore point guard Biren Clardy for a layup that extended the lead to 14-5.
Scott set the tone for the rest of the game when he buried a three from right perimeter that increased the Rams’ lead to 17-5 after the first quarter.
MWHS continued to dominate the lane in the second period, scoring 12 points form the paint. Senior forward Ty Ashley hit a jumper from the right elbow for a 35-18 lead, and the Rams ended the second quarter like they did the first – by connecting on a three. This time Clardy did the honors as MWHS led 38-21 at the break.
The Rams put the game away in the third quarter as their advantage grew to 26 points, 52-26, after a layup by senior post Jacoby Prestwood.
The Eagles got as close as 17 points early in the fourth period, but MWHS went on a quick 5-0 run and never had less than a 20-point lead for the remainder of the contest.
“We kind of wore them down,” Pappas said. “The last time we played them we didn’t get the lead until late in the game, but (Tuesday) knowing they were playing without their leading scorer I felt like if we could jump on them early they would lay down, and that is basically what happened.
“It was a fun game because you want everyone to play, and I thought everyone played well.”
DHHS 5 16 14 20 – 55
MWHS 17 21 19 24 – 81
MWHS – A.J. Williams 17, Ricky Scott 15, DaShawn Hicks 12, Biren Clardy 8, Nick Wendt 7, Jacoby Prestwood 6, Ty Ashley 6, Reece Tarver 4, Juvaree Sutton 4, Kevin Gregory 2.