SAGINAW – Mineral Wells went on a 21-5 run in the fourth quarter as the Rams came from behind to take a 64-56 win over Saginaw Chisholm Trail here Tuesday night.
The win raises the Rams’ mark to 3-1, while the Rangers drop to 0-3.
Chisholm Trail is a new high school in Saginaw-Eagle Mountain ISD. It is classified as 4A despite having just freshman and sophomore students.
Rams senior forward Matt Tincher scored 18 points to lead the team, while senior post Ricky Scott added 16. Senior post A.J. Williams turned in a double double with 11 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.
As a team, the Rams grabbed 30 boards, seven on the offensive end.
Tincher shot 71 percent from inside the arc, had one three-point bucket and was five of six from the free-throw line.
“Moose (Tincher) kind of came out of his slump,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “And he did it from inside the three-point arc, which was good for us. Sometimes we feel we shoot too many three-point shots.
“(Tuesday) we really wanted to pound Chisholm Trail inside because they did not have a lot of size.
“Ricky scored a lot around the basket as well. We had our way with them in the paint.”
MWHS led 30-24 at the half, but Chisholm Trail tallied 27 points in the third period, including six three-pointers, to take a 51-43 lead as the game entered the fourth quarter.
“Chisholm Trail was hard to defend man-to-man because they were smaller and quicker than us,” Pappas said. “Within about a two-minute span, they came down and hit threes on five or six possessions in a row.
“It looked like they were going to blow us out.”
Pappas used counter strategy in the fourth quarter, switching to a 1-3-1 zone. The plan was to take away the top of the key – where each third-quarter three-pointer had come from – and force the Rangers to take shots from the corner.
The strategy succeeded as the Rangers were held to a mere five points as MWHS scored 21 to take the lead and win the game.
Tincher scored 11 points in the final stanza, Scott drained a three and a two-point bucket, and as a team the Rams were seven for eight from the charity stripe.
“Our zone in the fourth quarter seem to baffle them,” Pappas said. “All the threes they were hitting were from the top of the key, so we jumped into a 1-3-1 to quit giving up shots from up top. It worked out for us.
“Offensively, in the fourth we started going to the basket more, and we were getting shots from the paint. We also made our free throws. Our offense started clicking, and we were getting easier looks.”
MWHS 15 15 13 21 – 64
CTHS 12 12 27 5 – 56
MWHS – Matt Tincher 18, Ricky Scott 16, A.J. Williams 11, Biren Clardy 10, Juvaree Sutton 6, Kevin Gregory 2, Cris Valdez 1.