JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
LAKEWAY — The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team on Feb. 13 returned to a gym that saw some of its best moments in the past decade, including a 2008 area championship: the dome at Lake Travis High School.
This year’s Lady Mustangs (21-9, 10-3 in District 26-5A) added to those memories as they crushed Austin LBJ 62-28 for their first bi-district championship in six seasons.
“I think it’s really cool,” senior post Aspen Woerner said. “That’s pretty awesome we got to start a new tradition.”
For the past four years, Woerner has been a member of a program that has had its share of lows. Going into this season, she was playing for her third head coach in four years, while the team had a district losing streak that stretched to 29 games.
That changed this year. Marble Falls finished second in district behind Kerrville Tivy, which had been ranked in the Class 5A poll of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Woerner is the latest in her family who helped end Marble Falls sports history most would rather forget.
Older brother Zed was the quarterback of the Mustangs football team that advanced to the playoffs in 2010, the program’s first appearance in about a decade. In doing so, he fulfilled a promise to older brother Thor, also the Marble Falls quarterback two years earlier, that he would get the team into the postseason.
Younger sister Aspen said both of her brothers spoke to her about striving each day to work toward a goal and emphasized she is learning so much more than the fundamentals of basketball.
“They give me a lot of advice about life,” she said.
As Marble Falls turned the ball over on its first four possessions and the defense collapsed on Woerner and the other posts, allowing LBJ to take a 9-6 lead, the Lady Mustangs used their defense to generate fastbreak opportunities and quick buckets.
Marble Falls junior forward Aubree Adams scored from the paint to trigger a 15-0 run and a 21-9 lead. The run covered almost eight minutes of the first half.
Marble Falls gave up only five points in the second period and built a 30-14 halftime lead.
The Lady Mustangs began the third quarter with a 14-3 run that propelled them to victory.
The huge lead allowed head coach John Berkman to empty the bench.
Adams grinned when she was reminded of the start.
“It was our first playoff game ever,” she said with a smile. “We were seeing how it was. We got our jitters out.”
Berkman said he thought his team found its rhythm during the run and commended the players’ efforts on both ends of the floor.
“With the exception of the first four minutes, we were good all the way around,” he said.
He noted that senior guard Molly Myrick kept the offense going since the Lady Jaguars did all they could to ensure Adams and the other posts didn’t beat them.
“It was a game where everybody played well,” he said. “We shared the ball and made a lot of good plays on defense.”
Though Adams was credited with numerous buckets during the second run, she said she isn’t the only player whose play gets the rest of the team going.
“I feel like we have a few people on the team who play that role,” she said.
Marble Falls will play the winner of the San Antonio Sam Houston-Richmond Foster contest. Those two teams meet Feb. 14.
Like Woerner, Adams didn’t take the victory for granted.
“It’s amazing,” Adams said. “Our team has been through so much. It’s only made us stronger. Last year, if somebody had told me we’d win our first playoff game this year, I wouldn’t have believed them.”