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Marble Falls basketball begins Subway Classic with loss

Marble Falls High School senior center Melvin Sanchez (right) calls for the ball, while Bandera senior post Corey Jennings plays defense in the Bulldogs’ 62-45 win against the Mustangs on Dec. 4. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team began its own Subway Classic tournament with a 62-45 loss to Bandera on Dec. 4.

The Mustangs got no closer than seven points in the second half.

Bandera senior Ty Neff led all scorers with 27 points, 16 in the third quarter.

“He’s as good of a guard as any we’ve seen,” Marble Falls head coach Paul Gammage said. “He’s probably going to be a (Class 4A) all-Region IV player.”

During the second quarter, the Mustangs switched to a zone defense to trim the deficit to 23-15 at the half.

“We’re going to have to be able to change defenses to get people out of their comfort zone,” the coach said. “They weren’t comfortable against our zone. In the third, they got comfortable. They could afford to pull the ball out and hold it.”

Gammage was pleased with his team’s shooting in the second half, noting they scored 15 points in the third and fourth quarters.

“We can’t afford to trade baskets with people,” he said.

He debated on when to use his timeouts, adding if he uses them too early, he might need them late in the game. But if he allowed the athletes to play through the rough spots early, a deficit might be too big for a timeout.

The Mustangs are still working through fundamental issues that happen on many levels when teams have only played together for a handful of games. The Mustangs returned from the Thanksgiving holiday to one practice Dec. 1, played Burnet the next night, then had a light practice Dec. 3 because they’re going to play six games in three days.

Simply, players get better the more practice time they have. Gammage said he has installed most of the playbook because he couldn’t wait any longer.

“In the second half, we ran it to perfection,” he said of the scheme. “When you can do that, it becomes a tweak here.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

TOP PLAYERS: (Bandera) Ty Neff 27 points (10 in the first quarter, 16 in the third)

ON OFFENSE: Points – (Bandera) J.T. Milner 2, Keane 7, Allan Clark 2, Noah Nelson 11, Corey Jennings 3, Salas 5, Averie Mansfield; (Marble Falls) D’Anthony Wall 12, Chris Hooten 11, O’Ryan Ficklin 5, Freddy Mata 3, Travis Walker 6, Emmanuel Montoya 6, Drake Harkins 2

RECORDS: Marble Falls 0-5.

UP NEXT: Dec. 5, Marble Falls vs. Austin Hyde Park at 1:30 p.m. and vs. Killeen Edison at 6 p.m.