By TONY EIERDAM
For Mineral Wells head girls basketball coach Ed Shelstead, it will once again be “pick your poison” time when his Lady Rams face district-champion Kennedale in the girls’ District 6-3A finale today at Kennedale.
The state-ranked No. 3 Ladycats have averaged 83 points a game in district play. The Lady Rams held Kennedale to its lowest district output in a 67-50 win in Mineral Wells on Jan. 18.
In the last meeting, Shelstead had to decide how to defend Kennedale superstars Autumn Williams and McKinley Bostad, two players Shelstead said are “Division I college-type” players.
Bostad has averaged 18 points per game in eight of nine district games. The Lady Rams held her to a district-low eight points in the lone meeting between the two teams.
In the last meeting, Shelstead chose to take Bostad out of the game – and she was not a factor at all – but that opened it up for Williams, who scored a game-high 23 points and dominated with baseline drives.
But Kennedale’s defense also caused havoc by forcing MWHS to turn the ball over.
Shelstead did not want to give away what his plan will be specifically today, but he did admit some strategy will have to change.
“We have got to figure out how to slow the game down,” Shelstead said. “Against a team like Kennedale, the last time we played them we went six deep, and as a result we got tired.
“We have some stuff we have been working on for them. We have to rotate towards the ball and shorten our passing lanes so they can’t get easy steals.
“I would rather get a 10-count, a five-count, step out of bounds, a travel or a double dribble rather than throw the ball away to them that results in an easy layup.
“We had 36 turnovers the last time we played them, and we have to cut that in half to have a chance to win.”
Whether the Lady Rams win or lose they have already secured third place and will be District 6-3A’s third seed in the playoffs, which begin next week.
Rams head coach Aaron Pappas hopes his team can ride momentum gained in a big win Friday against Springtown. The last time the Rams faced first-place Kennedale, the state-ranked No. 3 Wildcats had their way in a 94-49 win.
“We are going to try and change up our scheme against Kennedale,” Pappas said. “We may play more man on them just because they hit so many threes on us the last time we played them.
“But you are kind of ‘danged if you do; danged if you don’t’ when you play them.
“If you play them man-to-man they carve you up, and if you play in a zone they can threes.
“We are going to change up the scheme and try something different and see if it will work.
“I think we will be better prepared for this game, and I could be wrong, but I feel the kids are starting to jell a little bit, and they gained a lot of confidence beating Springtown on Friday.
“We are figuring out what it takes to win, so hopefully we can continue that at Kennedale.”
After today’s game, the Rams will have two district games remaining – at Castleberry on Friday, and at home in the district finale a week from today against Lake Worth.
MWHS hoops teams travel to Kennedale today to face first-place Ladycats, ‘Cats
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Protecting their home turf
After finishing the first day of the Mineral Wells Tournament a perfect 3-0, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (15-4) were back in action Friday with a double-header to close out the home portion of the tourney.
Rams shine at Brock Tournament
BROCK – The Mineral Wells Rams (9-6) had a strong showing at the Brock Tournament, Thursday and Friday, as they continued to lay a firm foundation for the rest of their season.
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
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- Protecting their home turf