The Mineola Yellowjackets defeated the visiting Rains Wildcats 58-38 on Dec. 18 for their opening district win of the season. With each team pressing full-court, the game was an end-to-end footrace.
As can happen in a matchup featuring full-court action, the game was plagued with contact fouls. Had the number of reaching and blocking fouls committed actually been called, we would still be at the foul line. Thankfully, each team competed in the proper spirit and maintained a good level of sportsmanship.
Mineola started slow, missing 10 shot attempts in the first four minutes of play and turning the ball over four times. Senior post Kadavian George finally got the Yellowjackets warmed up by converting two field goals from the lane and providing a nice assist to senior wing Shaw Franklin. Wingers Kelby Bruner and Trey Sneed both contributed a bucket, and the score stood Rains 12–Mineola 10 at the end of the first quarter.
The squads competed point for point until late in the half. Buoyed by seven Rains turnovers in the second quarter, Mineola outscored Rains 16–4 to close out the half. The Yellowjackets received contributions from the whole lineup. Davian Sneed, Trey Sneed, George, Franklin, Jonah Fischer and Bruner all scored in the late run. The game was decided by this run; Mineola went to half leading 30–17.
The Yellowjackets opened the margin to 17 points by the midway mark of the third quarter. Mostly behind the consistent play of Franklin, the Yellowjackets extended the lead to 20 points at the end of three quarters. Mineola allowed the Wildcats only 5 points in the third quarter.
With the game all but decided, the teams still battled for each rebound and loose ball. The fourth quarter passed without a significant shift in the contest.
Mineola should be pleased by several factors in this game. An even scoring spread across the roster, the solid play of George in the post and the contributions by Bruner off the bench were high points of the night. The early turnovers and slow offensive start will surely be addressed before Mineola takes on Alba-Golden.