In their first game back in district play since the holiday break, the Mineola Yellowjackets took a convincing 65-29 victory against the Scurry-Rosser Wildcats last Tuesday night.
The Jackets dominated on the interior all night against the Wildcats as they repeatedly grabbed offensive rebounds for easy put-backs or open three-pointers. The Jackets also received an additional player this week as freshman forward, Trevion Sneed (the younger brother of junior forward Davion Sneed) played in his first game all season.
Head Coach Ryan Steadman said he felt the key going into the game would be which style of play would prevail, Mineola’s fast pace or the Wildcats’ more methodical approach.
“We felt tempo and running them off the three-point line was the key to victory. I thought our press (really) wore them down (in the second half),” Steadman said.
Trevion Sneed got the start against the Wildcats and had an immediate impact from the opening tip. Trevion would score the game’s opening four points for Mineola while also grabbing two offensive rebounds during the same span.
Steadman later said he thought Trevion’s performance last Tuesday was also great to see from a player just joining the team since Christmas.
“I thought Trey (Trevion) gives us another athlete to spark our press and another good offensive rebounder. He really helps us defensively (with his speed and aggressiveness),” Steadman said.
Starting guards Shaw Franklin and Cameron Sorenson each had solid opening quarters as well as they both hit threes midway through the first quarter that helped Mineola earn an 11-8 lead. The quarter ended with the Jackets scoring one more time after Davion Sneed got an open bank shot to fall with just under 30 seconds left in the quarter. Mineola held a 13-8 lead at the end of one.
In the second quarter the Wildcats used a 2-3 half-court zone defense to try and limit the driving lanes and offensive rebounds from Mineola. However that strategy allowed for more open looks from outside and Connor Dobbs was the first to take advantage of it as he hit his first three of the game giving Mineola a 17-11 lead.
Steadman also added that the effective perimeter shooting from Dobbs, Franklin and Sorenson was also a positive sign going forward.
“I think any time you get some perimeter shooting it only helps open up the inside,” Steadman said.
Midway through the second quarter Sean Dennis got in to the scoring column in a big way as he scored six straight points as Mineola looked to extend its lead to double digits. However Scurry-Rosser would respond with an 8-4 run of their own as Mineola led 27-19 with just over two minutes to go. Mineola would then get a 6-0 run thanks to Franklin and Jonah Fischer as each hit a three-pointer in the first half’s final minutes. Mineola took a 33-19 lead to the locker room.
Coming out of the halftime break Mineola struck first just as they had done in the first quarter, this time using a 5-1 run. They took their biggest lead of the game to that point when the score was 38-20. Dennis then got offensive rebounds on two of three possessions midway through the third and also got a steal and cost-to-coast layup to fall as Mineola’s lead extended to 22 points.
In the fourth, Franklin scored five straight points on a three pointer and short jump shot. That 5-0 run made the score 57-29. The Jackets went on to win by 36 after a dominant fourth quarter.
Shaw Franklin and Sean Dennis each finished with double-doubles as Franklin scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Dennis tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds. Trevion Sneed rounded out the double figure scorers for Mineola as he scored 10 points. Connor Dobbs scored eight, Sorenson scored seven, Davion Sneed had six, and Jonah Fischer had five.
If the Jackets can put together all three phases with their defensive energy, great inside play and hit perimeter shots they will be a real threat to win the district crown.