By TONY EIERDAM
JACKSBORO – Last season, the Mineral Wells Rams faced the Burkburnett Bulldogs in the playoffs and came away with a stunning upset victory over the state-ranked team.
The Rams had fallen by 40 points in an earlier meeting.
This year, the same scenario at the same place occurred again, yet the results were not the same. In January, Burkburnett had defeated the Rams by 31 points, but the Bulldogs were determined not to let 2012 happen all over again.
Paced by 25 points from Chavaz Jackson with 23 from Elijah Strickland, Burkburnett had little trouble in an 81-59 win over the Rams here Tuesday night in a Class 3A, Region I bi-district playoff game.
The Rams end the season with an overall record of 17-17.
Burkburnett (23-9) will advance to the area playoffs and face Liberty Hill.
The Rams jumped out to a 12-6 lead and led 12-9 after the first quarter.
However, Burkburnett got its offense on track with 27 points in the second period to take a 33-26 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs outscored the Rams 24-17 in the third period to take a 60-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
“In the first quarter we were contesting shots and they weren’t knocking them down,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “But I felt like they wore us down in the second half with their press.
“Our legs got tired and as a result our defense faltered a bit and they started knocking down threes.
“They went on a run and we couldn’t catch up.”
Pappas said he was proud of the intensity his team showed throughout the entire game.
“The effort is always there,” Pappas said. “I have never questioned that with this group.
“Some teams are simply more skilled than us, but I have never seen a team that is as resilient and works as hard as this group of guys.
“Burk has a great team and Coach (Danny) Nix is a great coach. I wish them the best of luck.”
It was also the final high school basketball games for MWHS seniors A.J. Williams, Ricky Scott, Ty Ashley, Jacoby Prestwood, Kevin Gregory and Rylie Hill.
“A.J. was a big part of what we did this year, and he was our leading rebounder (average of nine rebounds per game),” Pappas said. “I coached him when he was in seventh and eighth grade, and I also had him when I coached the junior varsity. He will be greatly missed.
“Ricky is another I coached at the JV and varsity levels, and he was a big part of our success. We will miss his inside presence.
“But we have other great senior kids like Jacoby, Kevin, Rylie and Ty Ashley. They are good kids with great attitudes who never complain.
“Ty,” Pappas continued, “is a guy who came up to varsity this year in his senior year and he was probably one of our most improved players. He had a couple of big games this year. We will miss Ty quite a bit.
“Also going to miss Rylie, who was our team prankster and a lot of fun to be around. I will miss all of these seniors. They meant the world to the program, and hopefully that will filter down to our younger players.”
MWHS 12 14 17 16 – 59
BHS 9 27 24 21 – 81
MWHS – DaShawn Hicks 21, A.J. Williams 13, Biren Clardy 9, Ricky Scott 4, Juvaree Sutton 4, , Mark Glover 3, Jacoby Prestwood 2, Rascellis Williams 2, Reece Tarver 1.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
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.
Graford's Wimberly named 11-1A-II Offensive POY
A successful 2013-14 campaign for the Graford Lady Rabbits basketball team was capped off last week with the announcement that senior point guard Syndey Wimberly was named "Offensive Player of the Year" by district coaches. The district runner-up Lady Rabbits also placed five girls on the All-District 11-!A-II team.
Graford outlasts Ira, 69-65 (2OT), advances to Regional Finals
ABILENE -- "Survive and advance" is the name of the game come tournament time. And with their backs against the wall, the Graford Jackrabbits (27-3) did just that, holding off the Ira Bulldogs, 69-65, in double-overtime in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Semifinals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
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