Mineral Wells Index
MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
Last year, an unranked Mineral Wells Rams team upset No. 10 Burkburnett in the area round of the playoffs.
On Tuesday, Burkburnett made the Rams pay.
Paced by a smothering pressure defense and 17 points from Chavaz Jackson and 14 points each by Elijah Strickland and Arthur Hamlett, the state-ranked No. 7 Bulldogs cruised to an 85-54 win over the Rams at the MWHS gym.
Perhaps the best part of the evening came when the Rams realized they would wake up the next day at 0-0 with their first District 6-3A game on Friday at Fort Worth Diamond Hill.
“That’s a good way to think about it, but I don’t feel 0-0 right now,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “But (beginning with practice on Wednesday) the real season begins.
“(Tuesday) their pressure got to us – full court, half court – and I don’t know how many turnovers we had but their pressure got to us.
“Burk shot the ball extremely well, and we didn’t play very well offensively or defensively.
“We just got beat by a better team. With our first district game on Friday we wanted to play better than we did (Tuesday). There is not a whole lot I can say.”
Early on it looked like the Rams would give their state-ranked opponents a game.
Senior post Ricky Scott began the scoring with a three-pointer from the left baseline, and after the Bulldogs matched the score, Scott nailed a jumper from the right baseline.
After Burk failed to score on its next possession, Scott drained a trey from the top of the key to give the Rams an 8-3 lead.
However, after a timeout Burkburnett responded with a 12-0 run to take a 15-8 lead.
From that point, Rams guard DaShawn Hicks took over.
The junior slashed his way down the lane for three layups from the right side to cut the visitors’ lead to 17-14.
Burkburnett scored the next four points before senior A.J. Williams drove in for a layup to cut the lead to 21-16.
After a Bulldogs’ bucket, Williams found a rare opening down the middle of the lane and converted a layup to cut the lead to 23-18.
Hicks scored the first six points for the Rams, including a three-pointer, early in the second quarter.
However, the Bulldogs scored 13 points in the time frame to increase its lead to 36-24.
Burkburnett closed the half on a 9-6 run to take a 45-30 lead into the locker room at the break.
In the third period, Burkburnett used a 7-0 run created by a pair of turnovers and scored six points in less than 20 seconds to take a 53-32 lead which put the game away.
“In the first quarter we played with them,” Pappas said. “But after that we cracked under their pressure defense. But this game is over, and we have to focus on Diamond Hill.”
Burk 64, Rams JV 56
Burkburnett went on a 23-10 run in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game as the Bulldogs defeated the Rams junior varsity, 69-56.
Braxton Allen scored 10 points to lead the Rams. Also scoring were Rascellis Williams with nine points, Dalton Mitchell with eight, Mark Glover and Coy Barrick, each with six, Dexter Cross with five, Devon Edmond with four, Tanner Newsome with three, and Conner Bradshaw and Maceo Williams, each with two.
Burkburnett 39, Rams frosh 18
Burkburnett went on a 28-4 run in the second quarter on its way to a 52-18 win over the Rams freshman team.
Marvin Johnson led the Rams with nine points, followed by Nigel Benavides with four, Connor Jacobson and Z Beard, each with two, and Branson Sanchez with one.