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Marble Falls boys basketball loses close district game to Vista Ridge

Marble Falls High School junior post Danny Rivara (right) blocks a shot during the Mustangs' 42-39 loss to Cedar Park Vista Ridge on Jan. 10. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team lost 42-39 to Cedar Park Vista Ridge on Jan. 10.

The two teams played to an 11-11 tie after the first period and an 18-18 tie at the half.

But the Rangers outscored the Mustangs 13-10 in the third quarter. Still, Marble Falls fought back throughout the final period.

Mustang senior guard Aidin Parnell hit two free throws early in the fourth to trim the deficit to 36-30. Then, senior guard Zuri Buchanan scored a bucket and drew a foul for a three-point play, and senior guard J.T. Watson added two free throws to trim the deficit to 37-35 with 1 minute 54 seconds remaining in the game.

The Mustangs (10-16, 0-4) didn’t score again until guard Travis Walker made a free throw, and they trailed 39-36 with 27 seconds left.

Watson hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key to bring Marble Falls to within 41-39 with 12 seconds remaining.

The Mustangs attempted a 3-pointer and couldn’t score on an offensive rebound as time expired.

To Marble Falls head coach Neil Laminack, the close game came down to his players’ ability to score from the foul line. Marble Falls was 1 of 4 in the final 43 seconds.

“It was free throws in the clutch,” he said. “They only scored when we fouled them.”

The Mustangs made 10 two-pointers and three 3-pointers and were 10 of 19 from the foul line. The Rangers scored eight two-pointers and three 3-pointers and were 17 of 26 from the free-throw line.

Laminack said the team has been preparing the way he wants. Now, it’s time to put together all the elements in a game, he said.

“We’ve been having the best practices,” he said. “The attitudes have been great. Everything is happening that’s supposed to. You have to keep putting yourself in that position.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

ON OFFENSE: points – Ben Stripling 11, J.T. Watson 8, Eric Cauble 7, Kylen Skonning 4, Aidin Parnell 4, Cody Seelig 2, Jordan Wright 2, Travis Walker 1

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 10-16 overall and 0-4 in District 25-4A; Vista Ridge is 1-3 in district.

UP NEXT: 7 p.m. Jan. 14, Marble Falls at Dripping Springs, 111 Tiger Lane in Dripping Springs