Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local Sports

January 24, 2013

Ragland nears triple double in Lady Rams’ win

MINERAL WELLS — By TONY EIERDAM

For the Mineral Wells Lady Rams, simply winning Tuesday night’s District 6-3A home game against Castleberry was not a surprise.

But for fans of the Lady Rams – particularly those who struggled watching last year’s seven-win team – the 95-17 victory over the Lady Lions represented an achievement probably nobody in local basketball circles thought was possible this year.

The victory was the 20th this season for the Lady Rams.

Paced by a near triple double by freshman point guard Natalie Ragland – who finished with nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists – the Lady

Rams raised their district record to 4-2. The team is 20-7 overall.

Lady Rams head coach Ed Shelstead continually comments on how well he feels his point guard is progressing.

“When you are passing the ball the way Natalie does everyone gets involved,” he said. “Natalie has always been a great rebounder, and she is our third or maybe second leading rebounder.

“I asked Natalie in the middle of the game to start looking for her offense because down the road we will need her to shoot.

“She is a freshman, but she is getting better every game. I am just proud that she is on my team.”

Another important aspect of the victory was getting back in the win column after suffering consecutive defeats to district-leading Kennedale and rival Springtown.

“It does feel good to get back in the win column,” Shelstead said. “It brings us to 20 wins on the season, and we have to be proud about that.

“But make no mistake – we are preparing for the competition we have coming our way (in the second half of district play and playoffs). We have to continue to get better.

“We are not going to be happy with playing just one playoff game. We are in it for the long haul.”

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