MINERAL WELLS —
Pappas said the Rams need the win to help secure second place, which would mean facing a third-place team from District 5-3A. Wichita Falls Hirschi is in first place in 5-3A (first-place teams draw a bye), with Burkburnett, which beat the Rams 85-54, in second place.
“This is a big game,” Pappas said. “If we can win this game and earn a split with Springtown, and everything else falls the way it has been, we would be tied for second at the end of district.
“We could play a tiebreaker game, or we could flip a coin for second and third. Not sure that we would want to play another game and risk injury right before the playoffs.
“But we feel we need to be in second place, so we have to win (today), and assuming that we beat the rest of the teams in district that we beat in the first half of district play.
“If we can finish second, we have a lot better chance of beating a third-place team in the first round of the playoffs. If we finish in third place, we would have to play Burkburnett in the first round, and you saw what they did to us earlier in the year. They had their way with us.
“(Today) is a big game, no doubt.”
The Porcupines hurt the Rams with outside shooting in the last meeting. Pappas said the team has worked on perimeter defense in practice this week.
“We gave up too many three pointers the last time we played them,” Pappas said. “(Springtown guard) Dalton Scott hit five threes on us, and we weren’t expecting that.
“We have to play better defense a the three-point line, and we got to do a better job of keeping a body on (post) Thomas Loving, who kind of had his way with us. We need to do a better job of keeping him off the boards.
“We will be playing at home, and we expect the biggest crowd of the year, so hopefully we can get some early momentum. We want to jump out fast so we can get the crowd into it.”