By TONY EIERDAM
RIVER OAKS– With leading scorer and point guard Natalie Ragland still out with an injury, Mineral Wells Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman knew other guards on the team had to”step up” and run the offense.
Senior guard Courtney Peña and junior Riley Bullock were called on to “quarterback” the Lady Rams’ offense, and after a slow start the pair engineered the MWHS offense to a convincing 67-26 win over the Castleberry Lady Lions Tuesday night in a District 6-3A game at the Castleberry High School gym.
The Lady Rams led just 6-3 after the first quarter but scored 25 points in the second period for a 31-9 halftime lead that put the game away.
“With Natalie out it made others take on more responsibilities, and Courtney and Riley responded well by handling the ball and running the offense,” Holman said. “I was kind of nervous after the first quarter with just a 6-3 lead, but we got it going in the second quarter.”
The Lady Rams’ defense also had a hand in the win as MWHS held CHS to single digits in every quarter.
“Part of the reason we got going (offensively) was our defense that created turnovers on the press,” Holman said. “We weren’t cutting their passes off in the middle, so in the second quarter I made some adjustments on the press and that allowed us to create steals and get some easy buckets off the press.”
As well as the guard play was for the Lady Rams, they also got a solid game from post Tabby Santibanez, who registered a double double with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Senior post Ashlynn Robinson also contributed underneath with eight rebounds.
The Lady Rams received another solid performance from sophomore guard Maddie Pappas, called up recently from the junior varsity, who led the Lady Rams with 20 points despite not starting.