CAPTION: Faith Academy of Marble Falls’ Audri Poage and the Lady Flames are 2-1 in District 3-3A play of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
What a difference a week makes. Some teams have posted surprising wins, others have earned decisive victories and still others are showing their program’s heart and fight and making people proud. That’s why we love sports. It unifies people in ways that other activities may not. The girls have played three district basketball games, while the boys began their journey last week. Since it’s district play, we’ll start on the hardwood and move our way to the soccer field.
- Our first stop is at Max Copeland Gym on the Marble Falls High School campus where the Lady Mustangs earned a 62-48 victory against Lampasas that resulted in a 2-1 record for both teams. The Lady Mustangs won in a variety ways, none bigger than making 22 of 37 free throws and getting contributions from every player who checked into the contest. Not all of them may have scored, but they all created havoc by diving on the floor for loose balls, tying up poorly secured rebounds, getting a hand on a deflection, and getting back in time not to give up a lay-up. Equally important, the Lady Mustangs got the Lady Badgers in foul trouble, while they didn’t commit more than five fouls in the first half. Can not emphasize enough the importance of this win. Marble Falls simply couldn’t lose a second home district game after losing to Burnet a week earlier if it wants to add a district title. The Lady Mustangs had to have it and they did it the old fashioned way — by earning it. Marble Falls, which has won two district contests in a row after beating Jarrell, travels to face Lago Vista at 6:30 p.m. Tueday, Jan. 17.
- Sitting in the Max Copeland Gym stands taking in the action were members of the Burnet High School Lady Dawgs, who lost to the Lady Badgers 44-22 Jan. 10. One big reason was the loss of a key player who exited the contest in the first minute. The Lady Badgers took advantage and came to Marble Falls with confidence. Burnet, meanwhile, took a bye Jan. 13. Now all three teams are 2-1 in district play that reminded me of a scenario during the 1988-89 season. Back then only two teams advanced to the playoffs. Marble Falls was preseason ranked in Class 3A and was the favorite to win the district. But Burnet, Lampasas and Marble Falls each finished the district campaign with a tie for second place. Marble Falls had to compete in back-to-back play-in games to decide which of one of the three advanced to the playoffs. I believe Lampasas beat the Lady Mustangs to end their season and entered the playoffs. That scenario is unlikely now because the top four teams advance and the cream always rises to the top. Still, as it currently looks, these three teams have a legitimate shot at being the district champions. That means all three must sweep Lago Vista and Jarrell and hold court at home and steal some road wins. This district becomes more and more intriguing every week. Burnet is at Jarrell at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.
- A day earlier, the Marble Falls Mustangs beat Lampasas 58-51 for their first district win since Jan. 5, 2021. It’s another milestone for the this program since the season tipped off in November when the Mustangs won for the first time to end a 36-game losing streak. This team is a lot like the Lady Mustangs. They get contributions from every player, who does what he does best, whether that’s scoring, rebounding, getting steals or playing lock-down defense. And winning the district opener is a huge boost of confidence for these players who show another positive trait each time they step on the field. They’ll get another chance to show what they can do when they travel to play Lago Vista at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.
- That same night, the Burnet Bulldogs were taking care of business against Georgetown Gateway at The Doghouse 46-35 to begin district play with a victory. And it was an important win since the game was played in Burnet. Head coach Roy Kiser emphasizes there’s plenty of parity in this district race. which means anyone can win on any given night. The Bulldogs continue to get big contributions from every player who enters the contest. And that makes this Burnet team so difficult to beat. Burnet will learn more about itself and the district on a road trip to Jarrell at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.
- After taking a bye Jan. 13, the Faith Academy of Marble Falls basketball programs have an important three-game stretch that begins in The Fire Pit when Waco Reicher visits Tuesday, Jan 17, at 7:30 p.m. The Flames travel to play Bryan Brazos Christian at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, and to Waco Live Oak at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. In the latest Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ Class 3A poll that’s voted on by members of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Association, Live Oak was ranked No. 6, Faith No. 7 and Brazos No. 8. Of course the reason why this stretch is so important is because the Flames are 3-0 in District 3-3A led by senior power forward Brock Davis is making a case for player of the year after turning in a 40-point performance in a 73-29 victory at Temple Holy Trinity Jan. 6 and a 31-point effort in a 57-30 victory against Temple Central Texas Christian Jan. 10. We’ll see what the Flames can do in the next seven days.
- Joining the Flames in this stretch are the Lady Flames, who are 2-1 in district play after a close loss to Central Texas Christian 40-35. Faith played from behind most of the contest, but free throws were the difference in this one as the Lady Flames were 7 for 22 from the line. Still, head coach Kat Canada couldn’t help but praise her players for not quitting. A year or two ago, the Lady Flames wouldn’t have put up a fight. But in the final minutes, they cut the deficit to 34-32 and simply couldn’t get closer. Just like the boys, the Lady Flames have opportunities to make a few more statements.
- The Smoking for Jesus Eagles won four games at a Corpus Christi tournament Jan. 12-14. The latest was against Annapolis Christian Academy 56-47 after beating Seguin Lifegate Christian 74-67 earlier that Saturday, Edinburg Harvest Christian 81-44 Friday, and Waco Methodist Children’s Home 84-45 Thursday. The Eagles put the narrow loss to Austin Savio behind them in refocusing and getting back to their winning ways. Next up is a rematch at home against San Antonio Town East Christian at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19.
- The Llano Yellow Jackets made a statement in their 65-31 win against Brady Jan. 13 in the District 5-3A opener. The Yellow Jackets set the tone early and got contributions from each member. Junior guard Weston Baker continues to impress with his consistent play in leading Llano to the win with 26 points and 10 rebounds. But the return of junior Fitz Kennedy and the other football players have made a big difference in sharing the load. They welcome Ingram Tom Moore at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in another big district match-up.
- The Lady Jackets lost a close one to Brady, 39-37, to go to 2-1 in district play. Brady remains unbeaten at 3-0. Head coach Jay Parker was proud of his team’s effort, noting the players “gave it everything they had.” This game came down to free throws where Llano was 9 for 31. Still, there were plenty of positives. Senior Avery Brooks returned to the line-up after being sidelined with an injury, and the Lady Jackets displayed the fight the program is known for. They played 32 minutes and mentally didn’t fold. That’s what prompted several Llano fans to compliment Parker on his team’s play, noting that’s what they hadn’t witnessed in a while. They welcome Ingram at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, before going to Blanco Friday, Jan. 20.
- The Burnet Lady Dawgs soccer team won its own tournament Jan. 12-14. The Lady Dawgs defeated San Angelo Lake View 2-0 in the championship after beating Greenwood 4-0 in the semifinals, Canyon Randall in penalty kicks, Pflugerville Connally 2-1 and Taylor 4-0. The Lady Dawgs remain unbeaten this season and continue to show the traits of a championship team. Burnet returns to the field with a road trip to Wimberley at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in what could be a play-off preview.
- The Marble Falls Mustangs soccer team won third place at the Bastrop Tournament Jan. 12-14. The Mustangs lost to Bastrop 3-2 and to Temple 3-1 but beat Austin Harmony 6-0 and Manor New Tech 2-1. Marble Falls will hit the road to San Antonio Veterans Memorial at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.
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