By TONY EIERDAM
GRAHAM – In a game that saw the Mineral Wells Lady Rams jumped out to a big lead only to lose their advantage, it took three veteran MWHS players to get the team on track for the win.
Paced by huge free throws from lettermen Ashlynn Robinson and Natalie Ragland and a big jumper from second-year varsity member Pam Hopkins in overtime, the Lady Rams got past the Graham Lady Blues, 55-52, here Tuesday night in a non-district tilt.
The win raises the Lady Rams’ mark to 3-9.
“It was a good win for us,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “But I was disappointed that we had to go to overtime in the first place after we had a three-point lead.”
Trailing 47-44, Graham hit a baseline three-point bucket as time expired in regulation to force overtime.
“But then,” Holman continued, “to come back and win it in overtime was big for us.
“Hopefully, we can take this and progress more.”
With the score tied at 47-47, Ragland hit one of two free throws and Tabby Santibanez scored on a driving layup from the left side to give the Lady Rams a quick 50-47 lead in the extra session.
But Graham countered with a charity shot and a layup to tie the score, 50-50.
The Lady Rams missed a shot on their ensuing possession, but senior Ashlynn Robinson – a three-year varsity member who has not seen much playing time due to injury the past two years, came up with a big offensive rebound and was fouled with 1:02 left in overtime.
Robinson, who would finish with eight points and a team-leading seven rebounds (including four offensive boards), nailed both charity shots to give the Lady Rams a 52-50 lead.
Graham came back with a pair from the free throw line to tie the game with 47 ticks left on the clock before Hopkins drove the lane, pulled up and canned a crucial 12-foot jumper to give MWHS a 54-52 lead with 27 seconds left in OT.
When Graham came down the floor in an attempt to tie the game, Ragland came up with a huge steal and was fouled.