JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team fell to Fredericksburg 63-34 on Nov. 24 and Killeen Ellison 84-25 on Nov. 21.
The Mustangs (0-3) had their home opener against the Billies, who had a hot start.
Fredericksburg was consistent in hitting 3-pointers and turning fast breaks into buckets. By the end of the first quarter, the Billies led 17-8.
Still, the Mustangs wouldn’t go away. Marble Falls began to chip away at the lead, eventually closing to 23-19.
But the Billies took advantage of a bad Marble Falls pass, a steal from a trap and free throws for a 28-21 halftime lead.
Marble Falls head coach Paul Gammage said he left the court encouraged because the deficit was the result of mistakes the Mustangs could fix.
“I thought we had a great first half,” he said. “We had some unfortunate turnovers that, had they not been in those spots, we could have been tied.”
Fredericksburg began the third quarter by continuing its run, 16-0. Marble Falls ended that with a 3-pointer from the left side courtesy of Emanuel Montoya though the Mustangs trailed 42-24.
By the end, the Billies outscored the Mustangs 16-5, and Marble Falls had seven fouls to end the quarter.
One of the aspects the Mustangs have to address, Gammage said, is their lack of height in the paint. They’re blocking out taller, more physical opponents but aren’t getting the over-the-back calls. Gammage said the only answer is to emphasize getting good positioning.
Because he was a member of the Leander Rouse staff last year, Gammage knows the scouting report on the Mustangs. He said the belief is Marble Falls will play opponents tough for a half but because it’s not known to have skilled ball handlers, opponents will go to full-court defenses to force errors on dribbling or passing.
“We have to improve on it,” he said. “But it’s difficult when you can’t simulate the intensity or the size of other people.”
So they continue to install drills where the Mustangs go 1-on-2 or 2-on-3.
The other question is how much valuable practice time do the Mustangs spend on learning a specific defense for a specific opponent, Gammage said.
He will be mulling those questions and reviewing film during the Thanksgiving holiday, he said.
Gammage said he doesn’t have to coach effort, noting the players spent time working on dribbling and shooting on their own before after-school practice began in mid-October.
“We’re developing a culture of kids who want to get after it,” he said. “We’re asking guys to play in positions they’re not used to playing.”
AGAINST FREDERICKSBURG: Points – D’Anthony Wall 4, James Ramos 9, O’Ryan Ficklin 8, Fredo Mata 3, Emanuel Montoya 3, Melvin Sanchez 7
AGAINST ELLISON: Points – James Ramos 4, Chris Hooten 5, Fredo Mata 3, Travis Walker 6, Emanuel Montoya 5, Melvin Sanchez 2
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 0-3.
UP NEXT: 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Marble Falls vs. Burnet at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls
Marble Falls girls at American Bank of Texas tournament
MARBLE FALLS —The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team completed its American Bank of Texas tournament with three consecutive losses.
The last one was to Plainview, 64-36, to finish fourth in the silver bracket of the tournament. Other losses were to San Antonio O’Connor (65-38) and Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (60-40).
The game was never in doubt for Plainview, which led 19-5 early in the second quarter. By the end, the lead had ballooned to 36-12 at halftime.
Flour Bluff seized control of the contest in the second quarter.
After earning a 15-11 lead, the Lady Hornets began the second stanza with a punishing defense that led to transition baskets, even after the Lady Mustangs trimmed the deficit to two points.
That triggered a re-commitment to limiting the Marble Falls opportunities. As a result, Flour Bluff went on a 17-8 run in the final six minutes of the half. Simply, the Lady Hornets rarely missed, usually needing only one attempt to score a bucket.
Flour Bluff kept the same approach in the second half, outscoring Marble Falls 13-6 in the third for a 50-32 lead headed into the final quarter.
AGAINST PLAINVIEW: Points – Tiffany Dunavant 7, Aspen Woerner 7, Morgan Hagood 5, Reann Hall 5, Aubrey Adams 3, Molly Myrick 2, Sydney Gibson 2, Stephanie Ribera 2, Baylee Adams 2, Yvonne Espinosa 1
AGAINST O’CONNOR: Points – Myrick 9, Woerner 6, Hall 6, Espinosa 5, Hagood 5, B. Adams 4, Ribera 2, A. Adams 1
AGAINST FLOUR BLUFF: Points – A. Adams 12, Hall 12, Myrick 5, Woerner 5, Hagood 3, Espinosa 2, Dunavant 1
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 1-5.
UP NEXT: 1 p.m. Nov. 25, Marble Falls at Lake Travis, 3322 RR 620 South in Austin