Mineral Wells Index
By TONY EIERDAM
JACKSBORO – Last season, the Mineral Wells Rams faced the Burkburnett Bulldogs in the playoffs and came away with a stunning upset victory over the state-ranked team.
The Rams had fallen by 40 points in an earlier meeting.
This year, the same scenario at the same place occurred again, yet the results were not the same. In January, Burkburnett had defeated the Rams by 31 points, but the Bulldogs were determined not to let 2012 happen all over again.
Paced by 25 points from Chavaz Jackson with 23 from Elijah Strickland, Burkburnett had little trouble in an 81-59 win over the Rams here Tuesday night in a Class 3A, Region I bi-district playoff game.
The Rams end the season with an overall record of 17-17.
Burkburnett (23-9) will advance to the area playoffs and face Liberty Hill.
The Rams jumped out to a 12-6 lead and led 12-9 after the first quarter.
However, Burkburnett got its offense on track with 27 points in the second period to take a 33-26 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs outscored the Rams 24-17 in the third period to take a 60-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
“In the first quarter we were contesting shots and they weren’t knocking them down,” Rams head coach Aaron Pappas said. “But I felt like they wore us down in the second half with their press.
“Our legs got tired and as a result our defense faltered a bit and they started knocking down threes.
“They went on a run and we couldn’t catch up.”
Pappas said he was proud of the intensity his team showed throughout the entire game.
“The effort is always there,” Pappas said. “I have never questioned that with this group.
“Some teams are simply more skilled than us, but I have never seen a team that is as resilient and works as hard as this group of guys.
“Burk has a great team and Coach (Danny) Nix is a great coach. I wish them the best of luck.”
It was also the final high school basketball games for MWHS seniors A.J. Williams, Ricky Scott, Ty Ashley, Jacoby Prestwood, Kevin Gregory and Rylie Hill.
“A.J. was a big part of what we did this year, and he was our leading rebounder (average of nine rebounds per game),” Pappas said. “I coached him when he was in seventh and eighth grade, and I also had him when I coached the junior varsity. He will be greatly missed.
“Ricky is another I coached at the JV and varsity levels, and he was a big part of our success. We will miss his inside presence.
“But we have other great senior kids like Jacoby, Kevin, Rylie and Ty Ashley. They are good kids with great attitudes who never complain.
“Ty,” Pappas continued, “is a guy who came up to varsity this year in his senior year and he was probably one of our most improved players. He had a couple of big games this year. We will miss Ty quite a bit.
“Also going to miss Rylie, who was our team prankster and a lot of fun to be around. I will miss all of these seniors. They meant the world to the program, and hopefully that will filter down to our younger players.”
MWHS 12 14 17 16 – 59
BHS 9 27 24 21 – 81
MWHS – DaShawn Hicks 21, A.J. Williams 13, Biren Clardy 9, Ricky Scott 4, Juvaree Sutton 4, , Mark Glover 3, Jacoby Prestwood 2, Rascellis Williams 2, Reece Tarver 1.