MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
LAKE WORTH – Going into his team’s game at Lake Worth, Mineral Wells Lady Rams head coach Ed Shelstead wanted his team to work on different offensive and defensive sets.
The Lady Rams had beaten Lake Worth by 83 points in a previous meeting, so the coach knew that the outcome would not really be in doubt.
It gave the coach and the team a chance to practice the new sets in a game-type situation without really worrying about the final outcome.
The Lady Rams had little trouble again with the Lady Frogs as MWHS ran its overall record to 21-7 and its District 6-3A mark to 5-2 after an easy 78-12 victory here Friday night.
“We ran some stuff we normally don’t get to run,” Shelstead said. “They ran a box-and-one defense the entire second half, and we worked on trying to get (shooting guard) Niya (Benavides) some shots. We feel we will see a box and one and a triangle and two somewhere down the line.
“We were looking at some different offenses to deal with that.”
The offensive sets worked. The Lady Rams, especially Benavides, were able to frustrate Lake Worth’s gimmick defense as Benavides scored all of her 19 points in the second half, including three three-point buckets, and the Lady Rams scored 43 points in the final two quarters.
“We also put in a few wrinkles defensively,” Shelstead said. “We tried some stuff out and put some girls in different spots. We do that in practice, but I like to see how they do in game-type situations.
“All in all, it was a good game for us because we got to do some things we haven’t worked on yet.”
With Lake Worth focusing on Benavides, Lady Rams senior post Sydney Shelstead dominated the game in the first half with 20 points, including a pair of three-pointers. She scored half of her points in the paint and added four free throws after being fouled driving the lane.
MWHS ran a patient game on offense, working the ball around until they found an open girl on the perimeter. Kennedy Shelstead and Bethany Allen each scored six points in the half as MWHS led 35-8 after two quarters of play.
Benavides destroyed the Lady Frogs in the third period. Using a whip-the-ball-around-the-perimeter offense, the Lady Rams found Benavides open several times, and she took advantage.
The senior hit a three from the top of the key, then followed with a trey from the right perimeter. Frustrated, Lake Worth fouled Benavides on a short jump shot, and she drained both free throws. Benavides hit another three from the top of the key, and then scored her 13th point of the period when she converted a layup off a steal as MWHS took a 58-10 lead into the fourth quarter.
In sub-varsity action, the first-place Lady Rams junior varsity remained undefeated in district play after a 52-12 win over Lake Worth. The win elevated the Lady Rams to 7-0.
The Lady Rams freshman team was also victorious, raising their 6-3A mark to 5-1 after a 40-6 win over the Lady Frogs.
MWHS 14 21 23 20 – 78
LWHS 5 3 2 2 – 12
MWHS – Sydney Shelstead 26, Niya Benavides 19, Kennedy Shelstead 12, Pam Hopkins 7, Bethany Allen 6, Natalie Ragland 5, Ashlynn Robinson 1, Riley Bullock 2.