By TONY EIERDAM
LIPAN – New Mineral Wells head girls basketball coach Ed Shelstead put together a non-district schedule designed to help his team prepare for district play.
Specifically, he wanted the Lady Rams to play quality opponents in non-district play so they could compete with the district favorite, Kennedale, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A (Texas Association of Basketball Coaches).
Step one of that process was Tuesday night at the sparkling, new Lipan High School gym to face the Class A Texas Association of Baskrtball Coaches’ No. 1-ranked Lady Indians.
Lipan has been to the state championship game the past two years, and with all-state post Shauna Coleman returning among others, should be a favorite to repeat a trip to state, as its ranking indicates.
Lipan, wanting to win its opener on its new home floor and always fired up to play an opponent in higher classifications, did not disappoint the home fans.
Paced by 20 points and seven rebounds from Coleman, the Lady Indians held off the Lady Rams, 56-46.
The Lady Rams were led by senior post Sydney Shelstead, who scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down a contest-leading 13 rebounds.
Lipan used a 25-12 run in the first half – many of its points coming off a smothering press, to take a 10-point lead at the half that provided enough cushion to hold off a late MWHS comeback bid.
“Lipan is scrappy, and they play tough,” Ed Shelstead said. “I felt like Sydney held her own against (Coleman), but we didn’t handle their guards very well, particularly their screens. We showed our youth. We panicked a few times in the first half (which led to turnovers).
“Lipan has a great team and they have a lot of tradition, and we were not ready to play. But I give all the credit to Lipan.”
The Lady Rams were also hampered by volleyball success as four of five starters – Kennedy Shelstead, Niya Benavides, Sydney Shelstead and Bethany Allen – had only one day of practice due to playing on the MWHS volleyball team that reached the second round of the playoffs and was not eliminated until Friday.
Lipan does not play volleyball. However, the coach would not use that as an excuse.
“I was expecting more from a couple of our volleyball girls,” Shelstead said. “But I will cut them some slack. At the end of the day – no matter what you say – it boils down to (not) handling the pressure they put on us. Again, I give all the credit to Lipan.
“We have a lot of stuff to work on.”
The Lady Rams led 5-2 early in the contest.
Freshman guard Natalie Ragland canned a pair of free throws to begin the contest, junior guard Bethany Allen added a layup off a feed from Sydney Shelstead, who hit one of two charity shots to close the short run.
But Coleman got hot from the field, hitting a baseline jumper, a layup and another short jumper to give the Lady Indians a 10-6 lead.
MWHS cut the lead to 12-11 early in the second quarter when junior guard Courtney Peña scored on a layup after a pass from Shelstead.
Lipan’s guards combined for 13 of the Lady Indians’ next 15 points as the hosts took a 27-17 lead at the half.
Lipan extended its lead to 15 points, 36-21, before the Lady Rams showed a little comeback ability.
Peña began the rally by connecting on three of four free throws. After a Lipan turnover, Shelstead scored on a put back to cut the hosts’ lead to 36-26.
Lipan continued to struggle on its offensive end, and the Lady Rams added a bucket by Benavides and a charity shot and three-point bucket from Shelstead to cut the Lady Indians’ lead to 41-32 as the game moved to the fourth quarter.
Consecutive layups by Shelstead with just under two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter cut the Lipan lead to 49-44.
But Lipan responded when guard Lanie Roberts hit a big jumper from the lane to get the lead back to seven points with 1:10 left to play.
Fourteen seconds later, Peña hit a baseline jumper to slice the lead back to five, 51-46.
Lipan put the game away with 30 ticks left on the clock when Tallen Halliday scored on a layup. Lipan hit three of four charity shots to close the scoring.
JV wins opener
Kaleigh Aaron scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Lady Rams junior varsity to a 38-26 win over Lipan prior to the varsity contest.
Also scoring for the Lady Rams were Mason Malone and Carson Couger, each with four points, Scarlett Eaton, Bre Hinojos and Tabby Santibanez, each with three, Rachel Merritt with two and Addi Singleton with one.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Swimming to State