Mineral Wells Index
BY TONY EIERDAM
Six Mineral Wells Rams basketball players earned All-District 6-3A basketball honors in a vote of league coaches.
Coaches are not allowed to vote on their own players – with the exception of the new Bobby Miller Award – but they can nominate their own players for superlative and first-team awards.
The Rams had one superlative award winner as sophomore point guard Biren Clardy was voted as 6-3A’s Newcomer of the Year. Clardy averages nine points per game while also recording four assists per contest.
“To play point guard on varsity is a difficult position, but to be a sophomore and a first-year varsity player makes it even more difficult,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “I think the district coaches recognized that and thought that he did such a good job that they nominated him Newcomer of the Year.
“Biren has a lot of athletic ability, he is quick, and his decision-making abilities for a sophomore are way ahead of any underclassmen we had as far as distributing the ball and knowing when to make the pass.
“Biren is more of a scoring-type point guard, and his nine points per game was big for us.”
A new award in memory of former Diamond Hill basketball player Bobby Miller, who died last summer before his senior season, was awarded to a player from each team who displayed character and leadership on and off the court. The Rams’ winner is Kevin Gregory.
“I felt like, character-wise on and off the court, that Kevin exhumes those qualities. he was a leader, and I felt like he deserves this award.”
Earning first-team honors from Mineral Wells were senior post Ricky Scott and junior guard DaShawn Hicks. Scott led the Rams with a 14 points-per-game average while also averaging seven rebounds per contest, while Hicks averaged 13 points and four rebounds per game.
“Both Ricky and DaShawn were versatile,” Pappas said. “Ricky was a big inside presence who could also shoot the three, and DaShawn was a good shooter who liked to drive to the basket.
“Both Ricky and DaShawn were unanimous selections and had more votes than anyone for first team.”
Rams earning second-team honors include senior forward A.J. Williams and senior guard Ty Ashley. Williams led the Rams on the boards with an average of nine rebounds per contest while also scoring an average of nine points per game. Ashley averaged three rebounds and one steal per game while adding four points per contest.
“I lobbied to get A.J. on the first team,” Pappas said. “In my mind he deserved to be on the first-team. But there were a lot of good players on the first team and it was hard to get people on it.
“I said it at the beginning of the year, but we as a team were going to go as A.J. went. When he rebounded and scored for us we were successful.
“I am happy that I had an opportunity to coach A.J. He was a fun kid to be around, and he worked his tail off day in and day out.
“Ty played junior varsity last year as a junior, and we were a little skeptical, but he came up and gave us a couple of big offensive games when we needed it, and in district he was one of our better defensive players.
“He was a decent rebounder, but defensively I feel he deserved to be on the all-district second team.”