The 2021-22 Marble Falls Mustangs varsity boys' basketball team is young, but the players and coaches are entering the new season full of enthusiasm and optimism. The team is (seated from left) Leighton Bush (seated, left), Adon Galindo, Aaron Rivera, Maddox DeLeon, Brian Beltran, Laron Earls, (standing from left) Caleb Allen, Mason Cline, Ryan Terrell, Gabriel Davis, Averick Adams, and Josh Miller. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
Like many Texas high school teams, the Marble Falls Mustangs basketball squad is coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic focused on a new season with fresh hopes.
“We’re growing this year. A lot of guys are learning,” head coach Travis Crain said. “It’s their first time playing on varsity. Our main goals are to grow and improve. Every day, they learn, they’re eager, they’re energetic. It’s super exciting. They’re doing what we’re asking them to do.”
Crain described last year as “its own thing” as the Mustangs dealt with the pandemic and some players not hitting the court until the third District 25-5A game on the schedule.
The Mustangs face a talent-heavy district with Cedar Park, Georgetown, Georgetown East View, Leander, Leander Glenn, Leander Rouse, and Liberty Hill.
Crain noted that Glenn, ranked No. 15 in the Class 5A poll of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, won the Region IV tournament to advance to state last season, while Georgetown reached the regional quarterfinals.
The Mustangs have two returners — seniors Mason Cline and Aaron Rivera. Junior shooting guard Josh Miller split his time between the varsity and junior varsity last season.
The players understand what they’re up against but aren’t intimidated.
“For us, it’s more like having heart and having a chip on our shoulders and going all out every play,” forward Rivera said. “We have to take our time on our plays and think wisely of what we’re going to do.”
And they plan to go 100 percent.
“We may not be that tall or the most athletic, but we’ll give it our all every game,” Miller said.
Cline, a post, credits his coach with keeping the Mustangs focused.
“He tries to make practices fun,” he said. “He tries to drill in you things you don’t know. Everyone likes to work and compete. That’s what makes it exciting for me: getting out there and going to play.”
Marble Falls begins the 2021-22 season Tuesday, Nov. 9, by hosting a four-school scrimmage with Austin Crockett, Lampasas, and Lago Vista at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls. The Mustangs hit the court at 5:15 p.m., 6:05 p.m., and 6:55 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 13, Marble Falls welcomes Buda Johnson with a 2:30 p.m. tipoff.