MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls-Dripping Springs girls high school basketball game Dec. 11 was a classic rivalry match that demonstrated no lead was safe.
But in the end, the Lady Mustangs wouldn’t be denied as they captured a 53-48 victory against the Lady Tigers to begin District 25-4A play. Not by injuries and illness that sidelined three-year lettermen Haley Stephens and Kaitlynn Naumann and not by foul trouble that forced juniors Blanca Fonseca, Teagan Hall and Reann Hall to the bench after fouling out with two minutes remaining.
PHOTO: Marble Falls High School post Hayley Fishbeck looks for an open teammate during the Lady Mustangs’ 53-48 win against Dripping Springs on Dec. 11. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
Marble Falls junior guard Sarah Stripling and senior guard Katy Bartels took over with senior post Hayley Fishbeck, who donned a Marble Falls basketball uniform for the first time this season, sophomore post Hanna Wall, who had minimal playing time, and junior guard Emily Klingsporn, who made her varsity debut.
"I thought the kids played really hard and found a way to win," Lady Mustangs head coach Chris Jost said. "It’s really important to win at home and get to 1-0."
An 18-point Marble Falls lead with 6 minutes 40 seconds remaining in the game almost disappeared. The Lady Tigers trailed 47-46 with 64 seconds left.
Wall recorded a steal and passed to Stripling, who was fouled. That was the third and fourth free throws for the guard, who nailed three free shots in the final 54 seconds.
Bartels passed to a wide-open Fishbeck on a fast break with nine seconds left to ensure the win.
"It feels good," Stripling said of the victory. "It’s kind of a relief. We have to learn to play better."
Marble Falls led 10-4 after the first quarter, 26-13 at the half and 38-22 after the third period.
TOP PLAYERS: Sarah Stripling 23 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assists
ON OFFENSE: Points – Katy Bartels 7, Hayley Fishbeck 7, Blanca Fonseca 6, Reann Hall 4, Teagan Hall 3, Emily Klingsporn 2; assists – Fonseca 3, Bartels 3, T. Hall 1; rebounds – R. Hall 4, T. Hall 3, Fonseca 1, Bartels 1, Fishbeck 1, Wall 1
ON DEFENSE: Steals – Fonseca 1, Bartels 1, Wall 1; rebounds – Fishbeck 3, R. Hall 2, T. Hall 1, Fonseca 1, Bartels 1, Wall 1, Jessica England 1, Klingsporn 1
QUOTABLE: "When we’re smart with our aggression and our best players are on the floor, we are in great shape. We have to be smart about some things. We have to block out better," Marble Falls head coach Chris Jost said.
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 12-5 overall and 1-0 in District 25-4A; Dripping Springs is 8-7 overall 0-1 in district.
UP NEXT: Marble Falls at Leander High (16-6, 0-0), 3301 S. Bagdad Road in Leander, 7 p.m. Dec. 14
DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS
Marble Falls, 1-0
Cedar Park Vista Ridge, 1-0
Leander Rouse, 1-0
Dripping Springs, 0-1
Leander Vandegrift, 0-1
Cedar Park, 0-1