Mineral Wells opened the basketball season Tuesday night, but the Rams didn’t show up until the second half in an 85-66 loss to Benbrook.

The Rams looked young and nervous against an experienced Bobcat team that raced out to a 6-0 lead before Mineral Wells got on the scoreboard. Battling back into the contest, the Rams managed to trail 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Things went south in a hurry to start the second frame as turnovers plagued Mineral Wells and then feeling the need to catch up the Rams added to their woes with too much hustle adding to their turnover totals.

Coach Seth Riddle called for a slowdown of the pace, but that didn’t help as the Bobcats seemed to jump on any pass, not traveling at full speed.

Down by 22 points in the waning minutes of the first half the Rams began to show some life as Ethan Marsh nailed the first two of the six three-pointers he would make on the evening. Marsh’s seven points led the Rams’ first-half scoring while Mathew Pierce put up five.

Both Pierce and Marsh found their grove in the third quarter as they led the Rams’ offense. Marsh rang up a trio of long-range shots, and Pierce had three field goals. Their scoring would spill over into the final quarter as Marsh finished with a team-high 21 points and Pierce record 17.

Cameron Tucker added to the Rams’ second-half run with eight points. Rounding out Mineral Wells’s scoring was Charles Carter (5), Evan Santillan (4), Ethan Oliver (2), Cambren Morrison (2) and Luke Bullock (2).

The Rams will pick up plenty of game experience over the next week as Mineral Wells takes part on the Lake Worth tournament Nov. 21-23 before returning to their home gym for a Nov. 25 game against Iowa Park at 2 p.m.

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