JENNIFER FIERRO STAFF WRITER
SAN ANTONIO — The Marble Falls High School girls basketball season’s magical season ended in a 46-28 loss to Corpus Christi Flour Bluff on Feb. 24 in a Class 5A Region IV semifinal.
The Lady Mustangs (26-11) accomplished plenty during the season such as ending a 29-game district losing streak, finishing the first round of district play tied for first, ending the regular season in second place, and going three rounds deep in the playoffs.
Lady Mustangs head coach John Berkman said he couldn’t be prouder of the way his team competed.
“So many people came to the gym who have never seen a girls basketball game because (my team) was so successful,” he said. “We had tons of people come watch them play. The girls got them excited to come see them.”
Junior center Mya McMillian, who finished with 11 points to lead all scorers, said the accomplishments this season will serve her and her teammates well next year.
“It’s been a great success,” she said. “Everybody knows that last year we struggled. We have a really good coach coming back. I’m going to continue to play.”
Once the Lady Hornets (28-7) had a double-digit lead with about three minutes left in the first half, they went to a spread offense and stalled the ball.
By doing so, they controlled the clock, forced the Lady Mustangs to chase them that led to fouls, and only took wide-open shots on backdoor cuts.
But most important, they didn’t allow Marble Falls to run an offense in which the Lady Mustangs had a size advantage at the post.
The result was that Marble Falls scored a total of five points — three free throws in the second period and a jumper by senior guard Morgan Hagood in the third — in 16 minutes of play. The Lady Hornets scored 23 during the same timeframe.
“We got one shot. They had so many possessions,” Berkman said. “When we did get the ball on our end of the floor, we had a turnover or missed. We didn’t have many opportunities.”
Flour Bluff led 15-13 after the first quarter but seized control in the second period.
Marble Falls scored three points in the quarter, two free throws by senior post Aspen Woerner and one by sophomore guard Emily Reed, as they trailed 28-16.
The Lady Hornets were able to disrupt the Lady Mustangs offense by stepping in passing lanes for deflections, steals, and forced missed shots.
Meanwhile, Flour Bluff spread the floor to create one-on-one matchups to neutralize the Lady Mustangs’ height advantage.
With two minutes 33 seconds remaining in the first half, the Lady Hornets went to a stall offense and only took a shot if it was wide open underneath the basket.
That happened one time.
“Credit Flour Bluff,” Berkman said. “It was a repeat year for a regional tournament for them. It wasn’t a lack of effort on our part. They had a better game. When we got them to turn the ball over, we didn’t capitalize; we’d come down and turn the ball over ourselves. I felt like that was our biggest problem.”
Flour Bluff played keep-away with the ball during the final period.
Senior guards Tiffany Dunavant and Molly Myrick and Reed each had a total of three points. Four others had two points a piece.
Berkman said the only people who believed the Lady Mustangs could accomplish all of that were courtside with him.
“Anybody else would have told you you were crazy,” he said. “They overcame some things that, in years past, they wouldn’t have overcome. There’s so much to be proud of.”