Leander Vandegrift 60, Marble Falls 53
JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team lost to Leander Vandegrift 60-53 on Jan. 31.
The contest was a game of runs with neither team able to force the other to yield until the final 2 minutes.
The Vipers took a 54-53 lead on a 3-pointer then made 4-of-6 free throws and went into a stall offense that chewed up 34 seconds on one possession.
“We’re doing most things right, just not closing out games,” head coach Neil Laminack said.
In the second period, Marble Falls had the chance to tie but missed two free throws. The Vipers responded by hitting a 3-pointer that triggered a 10-5 run for a 31-24 half-time lead.
Still, Marble Falls began the third quarter on an 11-4 run to tie the contest at 35-35 with 3:10 remaining thanks to baskets from junior post Danny Rivera and senior guards Aidin Parnell and Zuri Buchanan.
The Vipers answered with a 9-0 run that encompassed 4:36 for a 44-35 advantage.
Marble Falls took a 53-51 lead with 2:40 left in the game thanks to shots from Parnell, Rivera and senior forward Cody Seelig. But their next two possessions resulted in missed shots and turnovers.
“We need to rebound at least even with teams,” Laminack said. “We don’t really manage the clock well, so we have to get more stops. One or the other.”
ON OFFENSE: Points — (Marble Falls) Rivara 19, Parnell 11, Stripling 11, Seelig 5, Buchannan 4, Watson 3; (Vandegrift) Ryan Brewster 18, Davis Florence 12, Hunter Gross 10, William Graham 6, Alex Fernandes 5, Zach Hartman 4, Luke Peterman 3, Nick Fionda 2
RECORDS: Marble Falls is overall 10-19, 0-9 in Distict 25-4A play; Vandegrift is 15-11 overall, 6-4 in district
UP NEXT: 7 p.m. Feb. 4, Marble Falls at Cedar Park Vista Ridge, 200 S. Vista Ridge Blvd. in Cedar Park
DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS:
Dripping Springs, 7-2
Cedar Park, 6-3
Vista Ridge, 2-7
Marble Falls, 0-9
Marble Falls 54, Leander Vandegrift 53
AUSTIN — Four seconds was enough time after all.
The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team and Leander Vandegrift were tied at 53-53 with four seconds left, but the Lady Mustangs made a basket to escape with the 54-53 victory.
As the Lady Vipers were about to inbound the ball, the Lady Mustangs were instructed to give light full-court pressure but not foul to send the game into overtime. In addition, sophomore post Reann Hall stood in front of the player throwing the ball in.
Marble Falls freshman guard Molly Myrick stepped in front of the inbounds pass and attempted a shot from the foul line. But as Hall leapt to score on the offensive rebound, she was fouled as the horn sounded.
And just like last year, Hall hit the first free throw to win the game. Head coach Chris Jost said officials didn’t award a second shot because the contest was already won.
“I think for this group it was nice to sweep somebody,” Jost said. “We were able to come back and steal one from them.”
For Marble Falls, it was a huge comeback that looked uncertain until the final 3 minutes 30 seconds. The Lady Mustangs trailed 18-9 after the first period and 32-22 at the half.
Even worse, the Lady Vipers’ top two scorers, Aspen Andrew and Madison Byrne, combined to score 24 points.
“We didn’t guard them very well,” Jost said. “The girls did a better job of containing them in the second half.”
As a result, Byrne and Andrew combined for 7 points in the final 16 minutes. That allowed the Lady Mustangs to outscore Vandegrift 13-9 and bring the deficit to 41-35 by the end of the third quarter.
With 3:30 remaining, Marble Falls trailed by seven points. Myrick hit a 3-pointer, senior post Teagan Hall scored on a putback, and senior guard Sarah Stripling hit another 3-pointer and a bucket. But the Lady Vipers made free throws to tie the contest at 53-53 with 52 seconds left.
The Lady Mustangs missed a layup, and the ball went out of bounds to set up the final four seconds.
Jost said the win was the result of each Lady Mustang contributing with points, rebounds and steals.
As a team, Marble Falls was 18-of-21 from the line.
The Lady Mustangs will close out the season Feb. 4 by honoring their seniors, parents and members of Young Guns and Upwards basketball leagues before and at halftime of the contest against Cedar Park Vista Ridge at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive.
ON OFFENSE: Marble Falls – (points) Sarah Stripling 25 (6 of 9 field goals, 5 of 6 free throws) , Molly Myrick 6, Blanca Fonseca 6, Teagan Hall 6, Haley Stephens 3, Aspen Woerner 3, Reann Hall 3, Hanna Wall 2; assists – T. Hall 3. Vandegrift (points) Aspen Andrew 15, Madison Byrne 14, Wendy Wan 8, Emma Harrelson 8, Kelen Kenol 4, Sam Gonzales 2, Chloe Chappelle 2
ON DEFENSE: (Marble Falls) rebounds – Woerner 6, T Hall 5; steals – Fonseca 5, T. Hall 3
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 15-15 overall, 3-8 in district;
UP NEXT: 7 p.m. Feb. 4, Marble Falls vs. Vista Ridge at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls
DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS:
Rouse, 10-2 (district champions)
Vista Ridge, 8-3
Cedar Park, 7-4
Marble Falls, 3-8
Dripping Springs, 2-9