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MARBLE FALLS — For the first time since Cedar Park High School dropped to Class 4A in 2010, the Marble Falls High School boys basketball team beat the Timberwolves in a 42-38 thriller Jan. 2.

The Mustangs got the win by controlling the pace, limiting the Timberwolves’ offensive opportunities, handling Cedar Park’s pressure defense and getting free throws.

PHOTO 1: Marble Falls High School senior guard Joey Blackledge (center) stays with Cedar Park High School guard Trey Knight in the Mustangs’ 42-38 win against the Timberwolves on Jan. 2. Staff photos by Jennifer Fierro

PHOTO 2: Marble Falls High School senior post Rey Baltazar (right) doesn’t let Cedar Park High School post Austin Hisler get in the lane.

Marble Falls trailed 5-4 at the end of the first quarter but could have had the lead had the Mustangs scored on one of three shots in the same possession with about 8 seconds remaining.

Marble Falls senior post Rey Baltazar scored at the end of the second and third quarters for Mustang leads of 16-15 and 28-27, respectively.

“As a team, we played hard,” Baltazar said. “That score was crazy. We held them to 38 points. That’s insane. Last year, they ran us out of the gym.”

Marble Falls senior guard Colin Edwards scored 5-of-6 free throws in the final eight minutes.

“I was nervous,” Edwards said. “Not all of them felt like they were going to go in. I thought, ‘I got to make these to win.’ Everything was big.”

And the biggest bucket of the night came from Mustang senior guard Joey Blackledge, who hit a 3-pointer in the right corner for a 36-29 lead after an assist from junior forward Ben Stripling with 4 minutes 46 seconds remaining.

“I hadn’t gotten a shot all night,” Blackledge said. “It was a great pass.”

All three players said this win is right up there with beating Lake Travis 43-41 on Feb. 11, 2011. That season, the Mustangs made the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-2005 season.

[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”Game Stats”]

ON OFFENSE: Points – (Marble Falls) Collin Edwards 15, Rey Baltazar 12, Frederik Filsoof 6, Joey Blackledge 5, Cody Seelig 2, Ben Stripling 2; (Cedar Park) – James Xia 7, Trey Knight 7, Austin Hisler 7

QUOTABLE: “I’m most proud of the collective effort. No game comes down to any one play. We’re going to have to play a variety of different ways to win. It’s great to be 1-0 (in district),” Marble Falls head coach Neil Laminack said.

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 14-12 overall and 1-0 in District 25-4A play.

UP NEXT: Marble Falls at Leander Rouse, 1501 CR 271 in Leander, 7 p.m. Jan. 5

[/tab] [tab title=”District Standings”]DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS
Leander, 2-0
Marble Falls, 1-0
Vista Ridge, 1-0
Vandegrift, 1-1
Dripping Springs, 0-1
Rouse 0-2,
Cedar Park, 0-2[/tab] [/tabs]