By TONY EIERDAM
Due to the recent ice storm, which shut down Mineral Wells High School for three school days and made area rural roads difficult for travel, the Mineral Wells Rams have not played a basketball game for the past eight days.
The Rams will finally get back on the court today with a non-district game at Fort Worth Country Day. Tip off will be at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Rams were a little more fortunate. Even though there was not school on Tuesday, the Lady Rams (3-9) did travel to Graham that day and came away with an exciting 55-52 overtime victory.
The Lady Rams will continue non-district action at 6:30 p.m. at Brownwood. The freshman and junior varsity games will begin at 5 p.m.
But the Lady Rams – a team rebuilding and with a new coach and different system – need to play games, and last week played just a pair of games on Thursday at the Jacksboro tournament before the dangerous ice storm canceled the rest of the tournament.
“I hate the fact that we couldn’t play the whole tournament and the fact that we had to cancel our freshman/junior varsity tournament we were hosting,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “We have already had to cancel too many games and we haven’t even made it through half of the season.”
The Rams (4-3) were hoping to build on two wins Dec. 5 at the Jacksboro tournament, but like the Lady Rams did not get to finish the tournament as the ice storm wiped out the rest of pool play on Friday and all of Saturday’s bracket contests.
But the Rams got further bad news on Tuesday as hazardous road conditions forced the postponement of their scheduled game at Venus.
That game will be made up on Dec. 30 with the freshman game beginning at 1 p.m. followed by the junior varsity at 1:30 p.m. and the varsity at 3 p.m.
Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said because of the school being closed that his team spent almost a week without being able to practice.
“The weather has been a big problem for us,” Pappas said. “We went five days without touching a basketball or having practice.
“It cost us three games at the Jacksboro tournament and a game Tuesday night, although we have rescheduled it.”
The Rams will face a Falcons team with a 6-2 record, including a win over Lipan.
“I do not know much about Country Day,”Pappas said. “I do know they are 6-2, and are averaging 66 points per game.
“I really think it will be a good match-up for us.”
Although it may be difficult to play at the top of their games with only two days of practice and not having played in a game for eight days, Pappas would like to see a positive step forward.
“We have got to start playing better away from home and hopefully Friday we can get a road win,” Pappas said. “We need it.
“Our weakness right now is our team defense. We have to be more stingy on defense and keep teams out of the paint.
“Offensively, we have to be more efficient shooting the ball, and do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”
Holman hopes the Lady Rams have gained new confidence after their experience at Graham.
The Lady Rams took a big first-half lead only to lose it; got back in front and took a three-point lead with 10 seconds left in regulation only to see Graham hit a desperation three-pointer to tie the contest and send it into overtime.
But instead of being down about playing an extra session, the Lady Rams were the aggressive team in the overtime period, took the lead and never let it go.
“It was a good win for us,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “To come back and win it in overtime was big for us.
“Hopefully, we can take this win and the experience of winning this type of game and progress as a team.”