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AUSTIN — For the second consecutive game, the Marble Falls High School girls basketball team found a way to win.

The latest came in a 40-39 victory at Leander Vandegrift on Jan. 8, a must-win contest according to head coach Chris Jost.

The Lady Mustangs led by as much as 25-16 but saw the Lady Vipers go on a 5-0 run to start the third to trail 28-25 headed into the final period.

Toward the end, Jost said the Lady Mustangs intensified their defensive efforts.

“We were just trying to get a stop one at a time and trying to get a good shot without throwing the ball to Sarah Stripling,” he said.

Stripling, who leads the Lady Mustangs in scoring, drew as many as three defenders, the coach said. That allowed senior guard Katy Bartels to drop in 10 points.

The win means Marble Falls, Cedar Park High and Leander High are tied for second place in District 25-4A.

The Lady Mustangs’ three district wins are by a combined 10 points. Jost said the reason for the victories comes back to his players’ mental toughness.

“We could easily be 0-5,” he said.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”GAME STATS”]

TOP PLAYERS: Sarah Stripling 19 points (14 in the first half), 4 rebounds; Katy Bartels 10 points, 1 assist, 1 steal

ON OFFENSE: Points – Blanca Fonseca 3, Reann Hall 3, Emily Klingsporn 3, Hannah Wall 2; assists – Kaitlyn Naumann 2, Fonseca 2, Wall 1, Teagan Hall 1; rebounds – Wall 3, Fonseca 1

ON DEFENSE: Steals – Fonseca 2, T. Hall 2, Jessica England 1; rebounds – R. Hall 3, T. Hall 2, Naumann 2, Klingsporn 1, Wall 1, England 1

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 17-9 overall and 3-2 in District 25-4A; Vandegrift is 0-5 in District 25-4A.

UP NEXT: Marble Falls vs. Cedar Park Vista Ridge, 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive

[/tab] [tab title=”DISTRICT STANDINGS”]

Cedar Park Vista Ridge, 5-0

Cedar Park, 3-2

Leander, 3-2

Marble Falls, 3-2

Leander Rouse, 3-3

Dripping Springs, 1-4

Leander Vandegrift, 0-5

[/tab] [/tabs]