By TONY EIERDAM
A pair of District 6-3A foes hook up at 6 p.m. today at Weatherford High School when the Mineral Wells Lady Rams face the Kennedale Lady Kats in a Class 3A, Region I regional quarterfinal playoff game at 6 p.m.
The winner will advance to the Region I tournament at United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock and will play the winner of the Levelland/Lubbock Cooper regional quarterfinal contest.
In two Lady Rams’ losses to Kennedale (27-9) in district play, it could be argued one common occurrence led to a pair of easy victories for the state-ranked No. 6 Lady Kats.
In losses of 67-50 and 77-49, the Lady Rams kept the game close until leading scorer and rebounder, senior Sydney Shelstead, fouled out, leaving MWHS without its offensive leader.
That’s not to say if Shelstead had not fouled out the Lady Rams would have won, but the margin of victories in the two games very likely would have been much narrower.
Lady Rams head coach Ed Shelstead said not only does the team need Sydney Shelstead to stay away from foul trouble, but to beat a team like Kennedale he will need more scoring from his top outside shooter, Niya Benavides, and double-digit efforts from Kennedy Shelstead and possibly point guard Natalie Ragland.
Another factor could also be getting points from junior guard Bethany Allen, who has averaged 10 points a game in the Lady Rams’ playoff wins over Vernon and Liberty Hill.
“We have played Kennedale twice already, and they are good,” Ed Shelstead said. “They are very athletic, and I feel we do have a matchup advantage with Sydney.
“But the issue is that they put so much pressure on the ball (handler) that it is hard to get the ball to Sydney.
“In the last game we played them, it was a five-point game when Sydney fouled out in the third quarter and we lose by 29.
“We have to find a way to keep Syd on the floor, keep our turnovers to a minimum and Niya has to come through with some (three-point) shots. Niya, Sydney and Kennedy (team’s top three leading scorers) have got to step up and play.”
The key for the Lady Rams is to stop Kennedale’s two-headed monster of guard McKinley Bostad and post Autumn Williams. In the first meeting, the strategy was to put pressure on top to stop Bostad, and MWHS limited her to eight points, quite possibly her district low.
But Williams got free down low and scored a game-high 23 points, and feasted when Sydney Shelstead left the game.
In the second meeting, Sydney Shelstead dominated down low and grabbed an incredible 18 rebounds in the first half while scoring 12 points. But she also got into foul trouble and did not make it past the third quarter.
Williams and Bostad combined for just 25 points in the second meeting, but the Lady Kats demonstrated how deep they are as Travanti Downs scored 19 points and Tahnia McDaniel added 17.
Ed Shelstead will have to pick his poison when trying to figure out which Kennedale players to key on in this third meeting. Of course, and understandably, the coach would not release any strategy he will employ to try and finally beat the talented Lady Kats.
Despite the monumental task ahead of him and his team, Ed Shelstead – a first-year high school varsity head coach – is proud of team’s accomplishment of a 24-9 record and an area championship banner.
“This has been a good year and we like our record,” Ed Shelstead said. “But it couldn’t be better to be able to be with and coach your two children in high school, and to be surrounded by the other great Mineral Wells girls.
“Mineral Wells has embraced me and my family, we feel great to be here, and we also look forward to going as far as we can in the playoffs, and hopefully that will be beyond (today).”
In third meeting, Lady Rams face Kennedale in regional quarterfinals
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
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.
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
Burke, Carter, Fisher among young standouts at early MW summer track meets
Two meets are in the books for the Mineral Wells Summer Track Club and already many young athletes have risen to the top alongside their varsity counterparts as the apparent track stars of the future.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season