JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Days after enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, an early December tradition takes center court.
The Burnet and Marble Falls boys basketball teams meet Dec. 2 in Max Copeland Gym at Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive. Tipoff is 8 p.m.
The Bulldogs won last year’s match 48-47.
But much has changed for both teams. Most of the experienced players graduated, so it will be up to a new group of varsity members to carry on the tradition on both sides.
“The sophomores we have have been playing for a long time,” Burnet boys head coach Roy Kiser said. “They can do some things. It’s been a painful growing experience.”
The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak to Marble Falls last season. The boys’ games have been decided by an average of two points the past four times.
“Our guys need to understand the importance and expectation of competing in early December or late February,” Kiser said. “We want their goal to be continued improvement in every game.”
Burnet enters this contest after losing to Leander 41-39 on Nov. 25.
After trailing 15-13 at the half, the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run the final six minutes of the third quarter to take a 31-19 advantage.
But the Lions responded in the final period, going on a 14-2 run that lasted five minutes for a 38-37 lead.
Leander won the game on a two-footer in the final nine seconds.
“We did the two worst things you can do late in the game,” Kiser said. “We turned the ball over and we fouled. They have to learn how to play with a lead. As it got to the end, we stopped valuing possessions.”
Still, the coach said he saw plenty of positives.
“At times, we passed the ball as well as we have,” he said. “Basketball is a game of counters. We adjusted and made counter-move baskets on what Leander was doing. That was a good thing for the most part. Guys rebounded and blocked out well. Playing together was the big thing. Guys are understanding what their roles are and are playing together.”
LEANDER 41, BURNET 39 ON NOV. 25
ON OFFENSE: Points – Caelin Graves 8, Gage Blair 15, Jesse Pollard 8, Daniel Hurst 8
RECORD: Burnet is 1-1
UP NEXT: 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Burnet at Marble Falls at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls