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Mustangs lose close one to Dripping Springs at home, beat Vista Ridge on the road

MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team suffered a 58-51 loss to Dripping Springs on Jan. 15 in District 25-4A action.

Mustangs head coach Neil Laminack said the outcome came down to one factor: the Tigers’ ability to drive to the basket to get high-percentage shots from the perimeter in half-court sets.

PHOTO: Marble Falls High School junior forward Ben Stripling (left) looks for an open teammate after grabbing a rebound during the Mustangs’ 58-51 loss to Dripping Springs on Jan. 15. Photo by Kelly McDuffie

“I thought the game was decided in the second quarter when almost every shot they took was within in the paint,” he said. “Most were uncontested layups.”

Dripping Springs only missed one shot in the third period, while knocking down a 3-pointer and five shots in the lane. That turned a 27-26 deficit into a 41-38 lead for the Tigers headed into the final period.

“When we get into a funk, we stop trying to figure out how to get out of it,” Laminack said. “When things don’t go our way, we have to figure out how to turn the tide.”

The latest loss for the Mustangs came on the heels of one of their biggest road wins Jan. 11 when they defeated Cedar Park Vista Ridge 45-35.

The Mustangs led 25-12 at the half and broke a 31-31 tie headed into the fourth quarter by outscoring the Rangers 14-2 for the win.

With six minutes left in the game, the Rangers went to a stall offense. Meanwhile, Laminack instructed his players to let two minutes elapse before playing defense.

When Vista Ridge finally ran a play, the ball handler went to the basket but was called for a charge.

“It was going to take every single player to win,” Laminack said. “We’re going to have to win a lot of different ways.”

AGAINST DRIPPING SPRINGS: Points – Joey Blackledge 15, Colin Edwards 14, Ben Stripling 9, Danny Rivara 7, Frederik Filsoof 6

AGAINST VISTA RIDGE: Points – Joey Blackledge 18, Danny Rivara 12, Colin Edwards 8, Cody Seelig 2, Ben Stripling 2, J.T. Watson 1; rebounds – Rivara 22

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 15-15 overall and 2-3 in District 25-4A play.

UP NEXT: Marble Falls at Leander High, 3303 S. Bagdad Road in Leander, 7 p.m. Jan. 18

DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS:

Leander, 4-1

Vista Ridge, 3-2

Dripping Springs, 3-3

Marble Falls, 2-3

Cedar Park, 2-3

Rouse, 2-3

Vandegrift, 2-4