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Marble Falls girls basketball beats Brownwood to add to win column

CAPTION: Marble Falls will begin District 24-4A play against Burnet Friday, Jan. 10, with assistant coach Adley CAnales (left), seniors Tea Rodriguez, Mackenzie Farmer, Emma Koziel, Avie Nail, Lilly Nesrsta, Emma Bindseil, Alyssa Berkman and head coach John Berkman. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team defeated Brownwood 60-37 Jan. 3 in its final non-district contest.

The Lady Mustangs (13-11) welcome Burnet (14-5) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, to Max Copeland Gym in the District 24-4A opener for both teams.

“It’s always good to get a win, especially when you play well,” head coach John Berkman said. “A lot of different players pitched in and played well.”

Marble Falls raced to a 14-6 lead in the first period that ballooned to 31-18 by the half and 40-29 after the third period. Berkman was equally pleased with the Lady Mustangs’ 20 points in the final stanza, especially against an opponent that has qualified for the playoffs numerous times.

Senior guard Tea Rodriguez led the way with 19 points thanks to hitting five of eight 3-pointers and seven of 10 field goals and had six assists and seven steals. Senior forward Emma Bindseil added 13 points and junior post Lexie Edwards dropped in 11 points and six rebounds. Senior post Lilly Nesrsta scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and threw four assists, and senior guard Alyssa Berkman had six points and five assists.

While the coach was pleased with the offensive effort, he noted those solid stats started on the other end.

“Our defense was really, really good,” he said. “That opened up transition buckets for us in our half-court offense. Offensively we made some good decisions. If you make some good decisions and are patient, you can get the ball to the hot hand.”

While that may have been Rodriguez, having the scoring from her teammates illustrates plenty about this team. Berkman pointed out when the ball movement is how it should be, it finds the Lady Mustang who knows what to do.

“Everybody has to help us score,” he said. “If we can do that, we’ll win a whole lot of games. (Against Brownwood) we were doing a lot of things and scoring in a lot of ways.”

The Lady Mustangs played this game after going 1-3 at the Mansfield Spring Creek Barbeque Invitational Tournament with the final loss to Wylie East 38-25 in a tournament that draws the top teams from across the state and some from Oklahoma and Arkansas. In addition, many teams are state and nationally ranked and feature athletes who will play college basketball. That made the victory against Brownwood even more essential.

“We proved to ourselves that we are as good as we think we are,” Berkman said. “We have a lot of weapons, and we’re not a one-dimensional team. We have to prove to ourselves we can score from the inside and the outside, that we don’t just have one player who can score. That’s one of the top tournaments in the state. For us to compete as hard as we competed, we showed we’re good enough to play with anybody.”

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