MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
SPRINGTOWN – Although Mineral Wells fans who attended the District 6-3A contest here Tuesday night saw the Rams playing hard from start to finish, they also witnessed a MWHS team that was having trouble shooting the ball inside, outside and on the free throw line.
Paced by a game-high 22 points from guard Dalton Scott, the Springtown Porcupines ran past the Rams, 62-55, to remain unbeaten in 6-3A.
Rams head coach Aaron Pappas felt the team gave it their collective all, but acknowledged that shots from the field and the line were not falling regularly enough.
“The kids played hard, and the kids never gave up,” Pappas said. “But what did us in was poor free throw shooting and poor shooting in general.
“We also committed too many silly turnovers, and our lack of defense in the first half put us in a hole. That is what cost us the game. We spotted them a 13-point lead and it was hard to come back from that.”
Trailing by 16 points as the game moved to the fourth quarter, the Rams slowly came back. They twice cut the lead to seven points, the second time on a driving layup by DaShawn Hicks that cut the hosts’ lead to 59-52 with 47 seconds left to play. A three-point bucket each by Hicks and Reece Tarver had helped the Rams in their comeback attempt.
However, with time running short, Springtown guard Caleb Brown connected on three of four free throws to seal the win.
The Rams began the season as a good free throw shooting team, but have slipped since the Christmas break.
“We missed 12 free throws (11 for 23), and we can’t leave those points on the floor,” Pappas said. “Earlier in the year we were a 70 percent free throw shooting team, but now we have dropped down to 60 percent.
“For some reason, our free throw shooting has fallen off, and it cost us the game.”
The game was tied 14-14 after the first quarter. Senior post Ricky Scott scored seven points in the first eight minutes, with Hicks adding five points, including a trey.
The Rams enjoyed their last lead of the game when Hicks hit a jumper from the lane to give MWHS a 20-18 advantage.
But with the Rams trailing 24-22, Springtown closed the first-half scoring on an 11-0 run to take a 35-22 lead at the half.
The Porcupines extended their lead to 44-24 on a three-pointer by Dalton Scott. The Rams prevented a runaway when senior post A.J. Williams hit a jumper and sophomore guard Biren Clardy canned a three, but a vicious dunk by Thomas Loving followed by a layup from Loving gave the hosts a 16-point cushion as the game moved to the fourth quarter.
In sub-varsity action, the Rams junior varsity fell, 49-45, and the freshman team was defeated, 52-43.