By TONY EIERDAM
After 10 District 6-3A basketball games, the Mineral Wells Rams and Springtown Porcupines will play one more game to determine the second and third seeds in the playoffs from the league.
The two teams ended up with identical 7-3 district marks, splitting the pair of games played against each other.
The Porcupines won the first game on Jan. 15 at Springtown, 62-55, but on Feb. 1 in Mineral Wells the Rams took a 52-46 victory.
District rules permit a tiebreaker game or a coin flip top determine the seedings, but this particular tiebreaker game is taking on the same affect as a playoff contest.
The loser of this game will assume the third seed and play Burkburnett in the opening round of the playoffs, while the winner will assume the second seed and will face Graham.
Burkburnett had its way with the Rams in non-district play with a 85-54 win at Mineral Wells, while the Rams defeated Graham in November.
However, Graham was missing seven players in that game who were playing for the Steers’ football team in Graham’s long playoff run.
Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said the team has been focused on finishing second.
“This is what we have been looking forward to the last couple of games, a chance to get in second place,” Pappas said. “Us and Springtown know what is at stake.
“If you get second you don’t have to play Burkburnett in the first round.
“Not that Graham is a pushover, but I am pretty sure both of us would rather play Graham in the first round rather than Burkburnett.
“Graham is a different team now. They gave Burkburnett a run for their money in district play, and they are much improved.”
Both previous contests were emotional and physical, and as the margin of victory suggests both are about equal, talent wise.
Pappas said a third game between these two teams may not be pretty.
“I expect our game (today) to be very physical,” Pappas said. “There will be a lot of emotion, and we have high expectations.
“It will be a dog fight, a physical game.
“It is tough for both of us to be playing each other for a third time, especially three times within three-and-a-half weeks.
“But there is no way around it because we did not want to flip a coin – a 50-50 chance – to determine our playoff seeding. We want to prove on the court that we deserve to go into the playoffs as a No. 2 seed.
“We are treating this like it is a playoff game. It will also work like a warm up game, and we get to stay in the same pattern we have been in by playing on a Friday following a Tuesday game.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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