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
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
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- Swimming to State