By TONY EIERDAM
RIVER OAKS – In the past four District 6-3A meetings spanning two years, the Castleberry Lions have had no answer for Mineral Wells Rams post Ricky Scott.
Scott scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Rams to a 77-65 victory here Friday night over the Lions as MWHS clinched a playoff spot.
Coupled with Springtown’s loss to Kennedale, the Rams and Porcupines are tied for second place with identical 6-3 marks. Both teams are expected to win Tuesday in their respective district finales, and a tiebreaker game or coin flip will determine the second and third seeds in the district.
Rams head coach Aaron Pappas, who has now guided the Rams to consecutive playoff berth in his two years as head coach, said the goal of reaching postseason play has been accomplished, but that he would like to see the team finish in second rather than third place.
The third-place team in the district will face Burkburnett in the opening round. Burkburnett defeated the Rams earlier in the year, 85-54.
“It feels good to clinch a playoff spot,” he said. “But we still have one more game (Lake Worth) that we have to win to put us in the position we want to be in, so we can’t celebrate just yet.
“I think this is the fourth year in a row we have made the playoffs, so we have a little tradition going.”
Castleberry showed it was much improved from the last meeting, a 79-53 MWHS win.
“Castleberry hit some shots and we didn’t play very well defensively in the first half,” Pappas said. “Offensively, their zone gave us some trouble. Castleberry played a lot better than they did at our place.
“I thought we took too many threes in the first half, so at halftime I told them to pound the ball inside and to be more physical.
“We did a better job of getting the ball inside to our big guys in the second half.”