JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The American Bank of Texas Classic hosted by the Marble Falls High School girls basketball team is regarded as one of the most competitive tournaments of November.
This year’s event is no different.
Of the 16 teams that will be playing, six of them are ranked in the top 20 of two different Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Polls: Class 2A No. 1 Brock and No. 2 Wall; District 25-4A foes No. 4 Cedar Park Vista Ridge and No. 8 Leander; District 4-4A member No. 6 Plainview and District 27-4A member No. 11 Kerrville Tivy.
Other squads include Fredericksburg, coached by former Marble Falls assistant Carrie Grona; San Antonio O’Connor; Pflugerville Hendrickson; New Braunfels; Austin Westlake; San Antonio Warren; Flour Bluff; San Angelo Central and Lake Travis.
The Lady Mustangs enter the tournament with confidence after beating Tivy 48-42 on Nov. 15 in their home opener.
Senior guard Blanca Fonseca grabbed a steal and completed a three-point play in the final nine seconds to propel Marble Falls to the win. She was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
The Lady Mustangs led 9-3 after the first period after holding Tivy scoreless for almost six minutes. Senior guard Sarah Stripling gave Marble Falls a 19-16 advantage at the half by nailing two baskets. She made sure that lead grew to 34-27 at the end of third quarter by scoring seven points. Marble Falls also picked up the defensive intensity.
With the game tied at 36, sophomore post Reann Hall had a three-point play with Fonseca taking over in the final 24 seconds.
“It was a real defensive battle between two pretty evenly matched teams,” Marble Falls head coach Chris Jost said. “We were able to disrupt Tivy’s attack with our defense in the first and third quarters to build a little cushion, and, then, we were able to withstand their late comeback by making free throws and getting stops on defense when we had to. The girls showed a lot of grit.”
ON OFFENSE: points – Sarah Stripling 18, Blanca Fonseca 13, Molly Myrick 8, Reann Hall 3, Haley Stephens 2, Aspen Woerner 2; assists – Fonseca 4, Stripling 3
ON DEFENSE: rebounds – Haley Stephens 7, Reann Hall 5, Stripling 5; steals – Fonseca 6
Marble Falls is 3-0.
Nov. 21-23, American Bank of Texas Classic at Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls