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Marble Falls girls basketball begins season with statement wins

CAPTION: The experience and chemistry of Marble Falls High School seniors Lilly Nesrsta (left), Avie Nail, Tea Rodriguez, Alyssa Berkman, Emma Koziel, Mackenzie Farmer and Emma Bindseil results in two wins for the Lady Mustangs to begin the 2022-23 season. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Marble Falls girls basketball team is 2-0 after earning decisive wins against Austin McCallum 51-13 Nov. 8 and San Antonio Davenport 44-16 Nov. 4.

“That’s where we pushed was our defense,” head coach John Berkman said. “Grit gets after it. In the first 2 games, we’ve been getting on the defensive end.”

In both contests, the Lady Mustangs (2-0) took control from the start.

Against McCallum, Marble Falls raced to a 16-6 lead after the first period and 27-11 at the half. The Lady Knights scored only two points in the second half.

Junior guard Tea Rodriquez led the way with 14 points, 9 of which came from three-pointers, an assist and 2 steals. Senior guard Alyssa Berkman scored 9 points, 2 assists, 3 steals and a rebound. Junior post Lexie Edwards added 8 points and 4 rebounds.

The Lady Mustangs were equally dominant against Davenport though the Lady Wolves kept it close for a quarter. After Marble Falls took an 8-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Mustangs put 15 on the scoreboard for a 23-7 half-time advantage then outscored Davenport 21-9 in the second half.

Rodriguez paced Marble Falls with 18 points, hitting four 3-pointers, with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Seniors Emma Bindseil had 9 rebounds, a point, an assist and a steal and Lilly Nesrsta had 3 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist.

“We always talk about that defense is an attitude, it’s an effort,” coach Berkman said. “We have girls who are diving for loose balls, we have two posts playing at wing. They’re doing whatever they can to win the game.”

He agreed his team is showing the traits of being driven for success.

“I think they are in a better place this year at this point than we have been in in a long time,” he said. “They’re playing with a confidence of a team that’s played several games throughout various seasons. They’ve grown by playing together for so long. We have seven seniors who played together since the fifth grade. They can always guess on what their teammates are going to do on every play.”

The key to the start of the season remains the same, he added.

“This team knows how to play together, they have chemistry, they are a battle-tested team,” Berkman said. “They are a team that doesn’t really rely on one person.”

Marble Falls travels to play at Lake Belton,9809 FM 2483 in Temple, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15.

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