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LEANDER — Missed free throws and a turnover in the final seconds allowed Leander to hold off the Marble Falls High School boys basketball to capture a 38-34 victory Jan. 18.

“You can’t point to one play and say, ‘That is why,'” Mustangs head coach Neil Laminack said. “We were in position and just didn’t finish.”

Marble Falls trailed 13-7 after the first quarter but responded in the second by outscoring the Lions 14-6. But with a 30-26 advantage to start the final period, the Mustangs only scored four points to the Lions’ 12.

Marble Falls has struggled from the free-throw line during District 25-4A play, Laminack said. He added the players are shooting them during practice, and coaches are trying to simulate real-game situations for them in an attempt to improve the statistic.

“Free throws are so much more mental than physical,” he said.

He took the blame for drawing up an inbounds play to tie the game instead of asking senior guard Joey Blackledge, the team’s most consistent 3-pointer shooter, to get the ball.

“It was an inbounds play where we should have done something different, and we didn’t,” he said.

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

ON OFFENSE: Points – Joey Blackledge 11, Danny Rivera 8, Ben Stripling 6, Colin Edwards 5, Frederik Filsoof 2, J.T. Watson 2

QUOTABLE: “For the first time, (Marble Falls is) in a position to win. We’re showing up, we have a chance. We have to close out. That wears on you mentally. All you can do is grow out of that until it becomes normal and natural,” Marble Falls head coach Neil Laminack said.

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 15-16 overall and 2-4 in District 25-4A play; Leander is 16-10 overall and 5-1 in District 25-4A.

UP NEXT: Marble Falls at Cedar Park High, 2150 Cypress Creek Road in Cedar Park, 7 p.m. Jan. 25

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

Leander, 5-1

Vista Ridge, 3-3

Cedar Park, 3-3

Rouse, 3-3

Dripping Springs, 3-4

Marble Falls, 2-4

Vandegrift, 2-4

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