CAPTION: Marble Falls head coach John Berkman draws out what Hutto is doing offensively and challenges the Lady Mustangs to shut it down. Staff photo by Jennifer Fiero
The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team fell to Hutto 48-43 in its second game of its own Hill Country Classic Nov. 17.
The Lady Mustangs (3-1) will face San Saba, which was at the Class 2A state tournament last season, at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the Mustang gym on the MFHS campus. Their second game will be played at 3 p.m. at either the Mustang or Max Copeland Gym.
Marble Falls led until the final 1 minute 38 seconds when the Lady Hippos drove to the basket and scored on a layup on back-to-back possessions. Senior shooting guard Sincere McCallister scored four straight free throws for the final score.
Meanwhile, the Lady Mustangs’ last basket came when senior post Emma Bindseil drew the defense while two feet from the basket and used a bounce pass to give senior post Lilly Nesrsta an easy shot on the opposite two feet with just under two minutes left in the contest.
It marked the second time Marble Falls was held scoreless the final two minutes of a quarter during the game. The first was when the Lady Mustangs scored to take a 35-31 lead with 2:22 remaining in the period. That score held until the start of the final stanza.
The Lady Mustangs led 9-4 to begin the match-up thanks to the scoring from junior post Lexie Edwards, who dropped in points from the low block, on offensive rebounds and free throws.
Nesrsta passed to senior guard Tea Rodriguez for a bucket and a 12-4 advantage. But the Lady Hippos answered with back-to-back baskets. Junior forward Avie Nail scored the period’s last basket at the horn for a 15-8 lead going into the second period.
Hutto picked up the defensive intensity and trimmed the deficit to 15-12 19 seconds into the quarter. Marble Falls countered thanks to free throws by Bindseil and senior guard Alyssa Berkman for a 19-12 advantage with 5:53 remaining. But the Lady Hippos scored two buckets to trim the deficit to 19-16. That triggered each team answering each other basket for basket. Bindseil scored the final basket of the period for a 26-22 lead at the half.
A total of six fouls were called in the second half until about the final two minutes of the fourth period, allowing the athletes to play. But in the first half, when the contest was called tighter, Marble Falls was 9 of 16 from the foul line for 9 of 19 for the contest.
When Marble Falls had a lead, the Lady Mustangs spread the floor and decided to run some clock designed to protect the lead and tire out the opponent.
To head coach John Berkman, however, the game came down to the other end .
“I thought our defense let us down,” he said. “Our defense did not do the job. That’s what happened. We had opportunities, and we didn’t capitalize on them.”
He noted the Lady Mustangs went to their spread offense during the 55-42 win against Lake Belton Nov. 15 that helped them close out the opponent and made shots to extend the lead. That didn’t happen against Hutto.
Bindseil led with 15 points followed by Rodriguez with 9, Edwards with 7, and Nail added 6. Three others had 2 apiece.
McCallister and junior forward Charlize Williams each scored 12 points to pace Hutto.
Berkman added that in every contest, there are moments and plays that lead to the outcome.
“When you don’t make shots and you turn the ball over, they capitalize on those opportunities,” he said.
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