MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
FORT WORTH – Like a lot of little sisters, Mineral Wells sophomore Kennedy Shelstead may feel like she is living in the shadow of her older sister, Lady Rams senior post and leading scorer, Sydney Shelstead.
But Friday night in the Lady Rams’ District 6-3A contest at Diamond Hill, little sissy got one up on big sissy.
But it really was a “sister act” that paced the team to its third 6-3A victory of the year against no losses – a win that keeps the Lady Rams tied for first place with state-ranked No. 2 Kennedale.
Paced by a game-high 22 points from Kennedy Shelstead and 20 points from sister Sydney, the Lady Rams blew out the Lady Eagles, 85-23, which sets up a showdown with third-place Springtown (2-1) on Tuesday night at Springtown.
The sisters’ father, Lady Rams head coach Ed Shelstead, was pleased to see Kennedy and her classmates Pam Hopkins and Riley Bullock also have good games. He also had high praise for freshman point guard Natalie Ragland, who has shown the poise of a senior of late.
Hopkins finished with 16 points after coming off a 20-point game Tuesday against Lake Worth.
“I felt like Kennedy stepped up and was very aggressive, and I really liked watching Pam Hopkins score a lot again,” Shelstead said. “Just like she did (scoring 20 points against Lake Worth), she followed up a big performance with another big one.
“This is what we need from (Kennedy Shelstead and Hopkins). We need them to emerge and to be consistent.
“Kennedy had her season high (Friday), and Pam finished with 16.
“I am proud of my young players. Natalie continues to pass up her own offense for the good of the team, and she had some nice dishes to (junior post) Ashlynn (Robinson) in the middle of their zone and some others, and she just continues to improve.
(Ragland) is also like a coach on the floor. It was fun to watch them play.”
Shelstead also welcomed back Robinson, who has been out with an injury.
“Ashlynn was just released (Friday) and had not even practiced for two weeks,” Shelstead said. “She had not played in a game since just after Christmas, and (Friday) she showed that she is a warrior.
“She works real hard, and she proved what a solid competitor she is and how bad she wants to play. I thought she did a great job.”
The Lady Rams started out a little sluggish by their own standards and led just 9-4. But a layup by Bethany Allen off a steal from Riley Bullock followed by consecutive layups from Kennedy Shelstead extended the MWHS lead to 15-4.
The Lady Rams closed the first-period scoring when Sydney Shelstead nailed a three-point bucket from the right baseline to increase the lead to 18-6.
The MWHS ladies put the game away with a 22-2 run in the second quarter. Sydney Shelstead scored seven points in the run, including a trey, and Hopkins added six points as the Lady Rams led comfortably at the half, 40-8.
In the third quarter, Kennedy Shelstead scored the first five points, including a trey, and senior wing Niya Benavides caught fire, nailing three jumpers – including a pair of threes, – her second trey closing the third-period scoring as the Lady Rams took a 63-11 lead into the fourth quarter.
Kennedy Shelstead remained hot in the fourth, adding seven points as MWHS coasted to another 6-3A victory.