By GREG WEBB
WEATHERFORD — Despite a game-high 23-point performance from Mineral Wells’ DaShawn Hicks on Friday, the Rams failed to keep pace with a 23-11 second-quarter advantage for Springtown’s Porcupines. Pojo put together an offensive barrage with three of its players in double figures to win a seed match at Weatherford High School, 70-53.
Though the Rams and Porcupines had met three times previous in the season, the contest represented the rubber match for games split in District 6-3A play, as the teams battled to determine the two and three slots in the state playoff brackets.
With the loss, the Rams will assume the third seed in 6-3A and will play Burkburnett in the bi-district playoffs. Tip off is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bowie.
“We played well in the first quarter, but they shot the ball extremely well,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “But they went on a run in the second quarter and shot the three very well in the second half.
“We didn’t play our best game, and Springtown took it to us.”
The game illustrated the intense, and growing, rivalry between the schools less than a minute in, with the respective ‘bigs’ getting nose-to-nose after scrambling for a loose ball. Officials quickly quelled the potential confrontation, though both would be called for simultaneous technical fouls in the final period.
Mineral Wells took the early advantage, scoring the first seven points of the game before Springtown could get on track. Aggressive defensive play by the Rams and a cold start from Pojo created the game-opening margin, but fortunes would turn by the second quarter.
Down by two entering the second quarter, Springtown heated up, with five different players finding the mark with consistency, while the Rams depended mainly on Hicks. The scoring distribution turned decidedly in the Porcupines favor, as they led by 10 going to the break.
Mineral Wells would close the margins temporarily in the second half, thanks the steals caused by an incessant full-court press, but Pojo found plenty of layups in transition to hold off the Rams.
Biren Clardy added 11 points for the Rams, while Ricky Scott and A.J. Williams each chipped in seven. Also scoring for the Rams were Nick Wendt with three points and Rascellis Williams with two.
By GREG WEBB
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