FORT WORTH -- Senior Rian Schultz scored 12 points and freshman Kate Bradshaw was a force underneath at post as the Lady Rams downed Western Hills 45-32 on the road Friday in a game that had the potential to turn ugly due to unruly fans.
Several of Western Hills’ fans took exception to referee’s calls that involved several violent collisions and technical fouls in the second half against the Lady Cougars. School officials and at least one police officer were involved in calming parents and students down.
“Of course, you never want to see that when you are playing, but games get heated sometimes,” Coach Tony Raffaele said. “I like the way the girls focused on what was happening on the court and not in the stands. That’s what we need to continue blocking out that kind of stuff and play ball and don’t react to that kind of thing.”
While the incident caused a short pause to the contest, it did little in slowing down a Mineral Wells’ offense that was clicking off a triangle-two scheme that melted into something else.
Schultz did an excellent job for us out there on offense,” Raffaele said. “We ran the triangle-two offense and the kids executed it really well. Once we switched to our zone offense, we started to pull away and they did a great job running our baseline.
Things ran smoothy early as Schultz popped the net with her first shot and followed it up with a steal and layup for a 4-0 lead. Bradshaw showed the kind of night she would have on the next score as she pulled down an offensive rebound and scored the first of her eight points on the evening.
Another basket by Schultz, a free throw from Jersey Davila and rebound and basket by Claire Rasmussen, kept the Lady Rams out front, but Western Hills was ready for a charge and took a 13-12 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
With the momentum suddenly on their side, the Lady Cougars surged out front 18-12 and Mineral Wells needed the spark that Schultz provided with a steal and layup. The senior followed that play up with another steal and then juked the Lady Cougars out of their shoes as she faked a layup and bounce passed the ball to Hannah Seaton for an easy basket behind the defense.
Naydia Weiss' two free throws tied the game at 18-18 and another offensive board and basket by Bradshaw gave the Lady Rams a lead they would never surrender. Rasmussen’s turnaround jumper gave Mineral Wells a 22-19 halftime lead.
The Lady Rams turneds up the heat on defense in the second half allowing just 13 points the remainder of the way while slowly adding to their lead and finally pulling away for good off a three-pointer from Paige Riney. Taylor Wheaton’s two free throws ended the scoring at 45-32.
Schultz was the games leading scorer with 12 points while Bradshaw had eight. Baker and Riney added five and four points respectively to the Lady Rams’ figures.
Raffaele was pleased with his team’s performance and singled out his freshman post for her play.
“Kate did what we have been looking for her to do. She was flying around on those rebounds,” Raffaele said. “ Kate is going to make mistakes because she is still a freshman. Going after those boards like she did tonight is something we saw in her do in junior high and knew at that time she could play on this level for us. I’m very proud of her and all the girls.”
The Lady Rams will take a six-day break before getting back into the gym and preparing for two more non-district games.