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Marble Falls girls hoops beats Belton in first game back after holiday

To see highlights of the Lady Mustangs’ win against Belton on Jennifer Fierro’s The Broad Podcaster YouTube channel, click here.

CAPTION: Marble Falls senior guard Alyssa Berkman pushes the pace in transition for quick bucket against Belton. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team beat Belton 70-48 Nov. 29, its first game after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Head coach John Berkman said that though the Lady Mustangs (8-1) took a week off from classes, they didn’t take a week off from shooting and working on their own. They had open gyms and used their home courts to stay sharp. And it showed.

“We’ve pushed a mentality of being ready all the time,” he said. “We don’t want them to wait until the tip-off to touch a basketball. They do a lot of work on their own and put in the time over the break.”

The Lady Mustangs led from the start. Senior guard Tea Rodriguez nailed a 3-pointer to start a 9-3 run that featured a bucket from senior guard Alyssa Berkman off of a Rodriguez steal, a bucket from junior center Lexie Edwards off an offensive rebound, and free throws by senior forward Avie Nail.

The lead ballooned to 19-10, then the teams exchanged baskets the rest of the way that allowed Marble Falls to lead 24-14 headed into the second period.

The Lady Mustangs didn’t take a play off, outscoring the Lady Tigers (1-7) 21-10 for a 45-24 advantage at the half.

The two played even in the second half with each squad scoring 15 points in the third quarter and Marble Falls outscoring Belton 10-9 in the final stanza.

Rodriguez led Marble Falls with 19 points thanks to hitting five 3-pointers, followed by Edwards with 16, Nail with 10, including six of seven free throws, and senior forward Emma Bindseil and Berkman with seven apiece. As a team, the Lady Mustangs made 18 of 27 free shots.

“It’s always good when you can score,” the coach said. “Tea is probably our best most consistent shooter. She has the green light, and our team respects that because she’s earned it. You let her have a little more freedom.”

The Lady Mustangs’ press led to quick buckets and their commitment to limiting opponents to one shot per possession also was evident.

“It’s the same press we’ve run all seven years I’ve been here,” Berkman said. “On our transition offense, I felt like we did well in getting the ball up the floor and getting shots.”

Belton freshman point guard Sarah Brown led all scorers with 30 points that included four 3-pointers.

“She is really good, and we didn’t do a great job of knowing where she was,” Berkman said. “Defensively, we needed to know where everybody was.”

The Lady Mustangs will travel to play in the Battle of the Bay Tournament Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 1-3, in Corpus Christi. They begin play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against West Brook at Calallen High School, 4001 Wildcat Drive then return to the CHS court at 3 p.m. Friday against Plano East and at 6 p.m. against Cy Springs. The Lady Mustangs end the tournament with a 9:30 a.m. tip-off against Grand Oaks at Calallen Middle School, 4602 Cornett Drive.

“We expect to win every game because we’ve built that into this program,” Berkman said. “Hopefully we play well. You want to get lots of reps for everybody and maybe beat some schools. We want to play a tough schedule cause we want to be battle ready. We’re not afraid to play anybody.”

Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.

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