JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Seven days earlier, the Burnet High School boys basketball team lost 41-39 to Leander in a game the Bulldogs led for almost three quarters.
The Bulldogs learned from that in a 53-40 win against Marble Falls on Dec. 2.
“The recipe for us is playing defense and not fouling and taking care of the ball,” Bulldogs head coach Roy Kiser said.
Burnet led from start to finish, outscoring the Mustangs 12-11 in the first, 15-9 in the second, 14-11 in the third and 12-9 in the fourth.
The Bulldogs did the things successful teams must do to win, Mustangs head coach Paul Gammage said.
“We turned the ball over too many times,” he said. “We gave them too many free throws.”
Burnet made 20 of 25, including 11 of 12 in the final period, while Marble Falls connected on 9 of 16. Senior guard Brendon Jackson was 5 of 6 in the fourth quarter.
“That’s a stat we try to emphasize,” Kiser said. “Credit Brendon for finishing.”
In the first half, the Mustangs committed 17 turnovers.
“And zero were forced,” Gammage said. “The difference in the game was taking care of the ball.”
The reason Marble Falls kept the game close was because of the 3-point shooting of senior guard Fredo Mata and steals and layups courtesy of senior guard Emmanuel Montoya.
The Mustangs scored seven 3-pointers.
Though the Bulldogs have six sophomores on the team, Kiser said this squad is playing to win now, not next year.
“For us, it’s about practice,” he said. “We have to practice hard the right way.”
That means being prepared for situations, particularly in the fourth quarter when it matters most, Kiser said.
For the Mustangs, it’s about effort and developing strategies around the players available to Gammage.
“I was really proud of how hard our guys played,” he said. “We haven’t had all 11 guys (suited up to play) until (Dec. 2). We’re still working on our rotations. That’ll be worth an extra couple of points.”
TOP PLAYERS: Points (Burnet) – Caelin Gravees 14, Daniel Hurst 13, Brendon Jackson 11
ON OFFENSE: Points (Marble Falls) – D’Anthony Wall 5, James Ramos 6, Chris Hooten 3, Ficklin O’Ryan 2, Fredo Mata 9, Travis Walker 5, Emmanuel Montoya 2, Drake Harkins 3, Cade Cool 3; (Burnet) – Ryan Robertson 2, Drew Kiser 6, Gage Blair 7
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 0-4 overall; Burnet is 2-1.
UP NEXT: Dec. 4, Marble Falls vs. Bandera at 9 a.m. and vs. Leander Rouse at 3 p.m., both on Dec. 5; Marble Falls vs. Austin Hyde Park at 1:30 p.m. and vs. Killeen Edison at 6 p.m. Dec. 6, all in the Subway Classic at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive. Burnet vs. Boerne at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 at The Doghouse, 1000 The Green Mile.