Warch video highlights of this game on Jennifer Fierro’s YouTube channel here.
CAPTION: Marble Falls junior guard Jamie Castillo drives for a basket during the win against San Antonio St. Mary’s. Photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School boys basketball team defeated San Antonio St. Mary’s 55-50 Dec. 1 to tip off the Mustangs’ Subway Classic.
The Mustangs (3-2) return to the Max Copeland Gym court at 3 p.m. Thursday Dec. 1, to face Georgetown East View.
The Mustangs got off to a blistering start. Sophomore point guard Tidus Willie hit a 3-pointer to start an 8-2 run. When St. Mary’s scored on an offensive rebound, Willie’s steal and pass to junior guard Jamie Castillo for a bucket began a 17-0 run that lasted for 4 minutes and 32 seconds. Marble Falls took a 27-6 lead into the second quarter.
That lead held for the rest of the contest.
“It was a great window into what we can ultimately be,” head coach Travis Crain said. “It was a great snapshot of what our potential is and what we’re able to do when things are clicking on all cylinders.”
What pleased Crain was the ways the Mustangs scored: Willie’s reverse lay-up to complete a fast break, Castillo driving to the basket and taking the contact, and junior guard Kody Smith knocking down 3-pointers.
“It was everybody,” the coach said. “Everyone was ready to do their jobs and do it in a way that benefits the team. Everyone was laser focused, and it was contagious. It feeds to the other guys. That’s what you want and what you want from their teammates. Everyone feels like they’re contributing.”
Marble Falls coaches weren’t surprised St. Mary’s responded, slowly chipping away at the the deficit. The Mustangs led 34-16 at the half and 42-29 after the third period.
The Musangs went into their stall offense the final two minutes. Castillo drew a foul and knocked down both free throws for a 48-42 advantage. About 27 seconds later, Smith connected on a 3-pointer for a 51-42 advantage with 1:43 left. Willie and Smith made free shots to ensure the win.
“This is all a learning year for everybody,” Crain said. “This team is still learning how to win. It’s a great lesson on how to close out games. We’re very fortunate to learn and still win the game. There are still things we need to fix.”
Smith led with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, followed by Willie with 16, including three 3-pointers.
Crain commended his players for being mentally tough enough to respond late and make shots for the win.
“That’s what we want from our kids, when we’re able to handle the situation,” he said. “That’s not going to be the only time that happens this year. We have to keep getting better. Our kids answered the call. I’m happy for them.”
Marble Falls plays throughout the weekend. On Friday the Mustangs take on San Antonio Brennan at 9 a.m. and Cedar Park High at 3 p.m. On Saturday Mustangs will face Copperas Cove at 9 a.m. and San Antonio Edison at 3 p.m.
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