By TONY EIERDAM
Coming into Wednesday night’s District 12-4A match at Ram Stadium against Mineral Wells, the Saginaw Roughriders were undefeated in district with a 2-0-2 mark and probably were not expecting much resistance against the 0-4 Rams.
But playing easily their best district game of the season, the Mineral Wells Rams hung tough and gave Saginaw a scare before the Roughriders hung on for a 2-0 win Wednesday night at Ram Stadium.
The game was closer than the score indicated as Saginaw scored its second goal with 2:38 left to play.
The loss drops the Rams’ district mark to 0-5, while Saginaw moves to 3-0-2.
Rams head coach Rolando Borjon said he was proud of his young and inexperienced team and indicated that hard work brought them to the point of nearly recording an upset win.
“The guys took a big step (on Wednesday),” Borjon said. “The guys fought hard and played a very good game.
“We have been looking for this all year – playing a full game.
“The guys put in a lot of hard work in the past week, including when it was bad outside and we had to practice in the gym.
“The kids hung in there, and this is one of those years where we are trying new things to help make us stronger.”
Another bright spot was the play of goalkeeper Kelly Williams, who turned back several close-range stops for the match.
In the first half, Williams stopped what looked like a sure goal with a jump save just seven minutes into the contest, and midway through the first half in a span of two minutes he showed his athleticism with a pair of diving saves.
Instead of what could have been a 3-0 lead for Saginaw, the match remained scoreless.
Saginaw finally got one past the Rams’ goalkeeper with a goal on a header following a corner kick with 3:47 left in the half.
Williams kept the game close in the second half as he came up with a pair of brilliant diving saves at the 25:01 and 24:20 marks.
Perhaps Williams’ best save of the night came with 15:40 remaining and Saginaw still clinging to a 1-0 lead.
The Roughriders were awarded a free kick from about 30 yards out, and Williams jumped high and caught the offering to keep it a one-goal match.
Meanwhile, Saginaw’s offense kept possession of the ball in the MWHS defensive end for most of the second half, limiting the MWHS scoring chances and nearly eliminating anything in front of the goal.
With 2:38 left to play Saginaw sealed the win with a goal from inside the box.
“The adjustments we have made helped us stay in this game,” Borjon said. “Our defense showed up big, and Kelly (Williams) had a good night in goal by making some big saves.
“This year the team is a work in progress, and (Wednesday) they showed how their hard work is paying off,” Borjon said. “This game gives our young kids the confidence to know that they can hang with teams of this caliber.
“This was a positive step for our young team, and the future looks pretty bright.
“They can build on this effort.”
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Protecting their home turf
After finishing the first day of the Mineral Wells Tournament a perfect 3-0, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (15-4) were back in action Friday with a double-header to close out the home portion of the tourney.
Rams shine at Brock Tournament
BROCK – The Mineral Wells Rams (9-6) had a strong showing at the Brock Tournament, Thursday and Friday, as they continued to lay a firm foundation for the rest of their season.
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Protecting their home turf