By TONY EIERDAM
Playing in business-like fashion, the Mineral Wells Rams dispatch an undermanned Graham squad, 59-43, Friday afternoon in a non-district basketball game at the MWHS gym.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Graham, but when Graham’s football team set up a playoff game with Lake Worth at Ram Stadium on the same night, the Steers’ basketball coaches asked Rams head coach Aaron Pappas if they could instead play in Graham prior to the football game.
And it was the football game that depleted Graham’s basketball roster. All five projected Graham starters are still playing football.
“I don’t know if we played that well, and a couple of our starters had off nights,” Pappas said. “But we had some guys come off the bench who did play well.”
A starter who did turn in a strong performance was senior forward A.J. Williams, who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with three points. Junior guard DaShawn Hicks led the Rams with 13 points.
“A.J. always plays hard,” Pappas said. “He is going to be the heart and soul of our team, and when you watch him play you can see why.”
Pappas said he and the team took the win with a grain of salt.
“Graham is missing all of its starters due to football, and we knew they would not be that strong offensively,” he said. “That’s why we jumped in a press to begin the game.
“We knew Graham had brought up some freshmen and sophomores to varsity. We wanted to press early and try to get turnovers. We did a pretty good job of it, although at times we did give them some easy baskets.
“But all in all, I was proud of our defensive effort.”
Williams began the game in aggressive fashion, driving to the lane and scoring while being fouled. The senior nailed the free throw to complete the three-point play.
The Rams extended their lead to 9-3 on a jumper near the free-throw line by varsity newcomer, sophomore Biren Clardy, who finished with 12 points.
MWHS closed out the first-period scoring on a baseline jumper from matt “Moose” Tincher and a put back from Hicks as the Rams led 14-8.
Hicks caught fire in the second quarter. He began the period by swishing a pair of charity shots, and later scored on a nifty reverse layup.
Hicks added a pair of free throws later in the quarter to increase the MWHS advantage to 26-12.
The Rams closed the scoring in the first half when Clardy calmly drained a three-pointer from the top of the key as the Rams led 30-16 at the break.
Graham got as close as 12 points with two minutes left in the third quarter. But the Rams shut out the Steers the rest of the period and added a trey from the top of the key by Tincher and finished the period on a jumper from the lane by senior guard Rylie Hill to take a 43-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
Another newcomer to varsity, sophomore Juvaree Sutton, had a layup and a put back to put the game out of reach as MWHS extended its lead to 59-34.
Graham scored nine unanswered points to close the contest.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
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- Swimming to State