By TONY EIERDAM
Trying to stop a two-game losing streak, the Mineral Wells Rams will host Castleberry at 8 p.m. today as District 6-3A action continues at the MWHS gym.
With the girls’ district season completed all three MWHS boys’ games will be played on the main court. The freshman game will begin at 5 p.m. followed by the junior varsity game at 6:30 p.m.
The Rams are trying to get back into a tie with Springtown for second place in the district standings. A win against the Lions today coupled with a Springtown loss to Kennedale would put the Rams and Springtown in a tie for second place.
While it is likely state-ranked No. 2 Kennedale will prevail today, the Rams are not taking the Lions lightly, especially considering what happened when the two teams faced each other Jan. 21 at Castleberry.
In that game, Castleberry hit its first five three-pointers and scored 27 points in the opening quarter. The Lions held a 29-point lead in the third period and went into the fourth quarter with a 21-point cushion.
Incredibly, the Rams came back – thanks to a urgent full-court defense that created turnovers – to score 32 in the final stanza to come away with a three-point victory.
Since then, even in the past two losses to Springtown and Kennedale, the Rams have jumped out to quick leads in the opening period.
The Rams led 20-14 after the first quarter a week ago at Springtown, and on Tuesday, MWHS had a 19-17 lead over Kennedale after eight minutes. It was the second half of both games that led to the losses.
“We obviously want to get out to a better start then we did the last time we played them,” Rams head coach Aaron Papas said. “We will need to play with the same intensity that we did in the second half when we played them.
“We want to match up with them man to man and pressure the guy with the ball. Castleberry shoots the three well, so we will challenge them on the perimeter and make them put the ball on the floor and go to the basket.”
The Rams have always been a good shooting team from the outside with leading scorer Biren Clardy and Nick Wendt, two shooting guards, and point guard Dexter Cross has also shown that he can hit the three when needed.
But MWHS is also starting to play a solid inside game with sophomore post Broderick Johnson, junior post Juvaree Sutton and forward Rascellis Williams providing scoring in the paint of late.
Pappas said he needs inside scoring or teams will focus on guarding the Rams on the perimeter.
“We have two guys who do all the scoring,” Pappas said. “If we don’t get some others stepping up and scoring we are going to be in trouble because teams will focus on Biren and Nick.”
Pappas said Castleberry has gotten his team’s attention after the close contest last month.
“I think our guys will get off to a better start this time,” Pappas said. “This is a must win for us, and we feel we have to win out to stay in a tie with Springtown (if Springtown gets beat by Kennedale) for second place and set up a tiebreaker game.”
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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