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Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights

CAPTION: The Marble Falls Mustangs and Lady Mustangs after beating Burnet at The Doghouse Jan. 24. The last time both teams beat Burnet in the same season was during the 2019-20 season at Max Copeland Gym. The last time they beat Burnet at The Doghouse was during the 2011-12 season. Mustangs head coach Travis Crain was an assistant coach on the boys staff. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

What a difference a week makes. This time last week, one high school boys basketball team was fifth in the district and was preparing for a rivalry road contest and home match-up against a new foe. One week later, that team is now tied for second in the district and discovered some more important district results that has had a positive impact. So let’s get to it.

  1. That said team is the Marble Falls Mustangs. Head coach Travis Crain, after the 58-47 home loss to Georgetown Gateway Jan. 17, noted the games played at Burnet Jan. 24 and at home against Jarrell Jan. 27 meant it “was a big week.” His Mustangs didn’t disappoint as they defeated the Bulldogs 49-48 thanks to sophomore guard and captain Tidus Willie’s 3-point play with about 13 seconds left in the contest. Then they returned to Max Copeland Gym and got a miracle half-court shot from sophomore Garen Jones for a 52-49 victory against the Cougars to finish the first round of District 24-4A play at 3-2 and tied for second with Burnet. No one knew better than the Mustangs the importance of going 2-0 in the last two games for the first round of district play better than the players and coaches themselves. Hats off to them for answering the call and staring down the challenges to find ways to win. The second round begins Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Lampasas where the Mustangs are looking for a season sweep of the 1-4 Badgers. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
  2. Let’s stay with the boys and talk about the Burnet Bulldogs. Props to head coach Roy Kiser and the Bulldogs for bouncing back from the loss to Marble Falls to beat Lampasas 55-45 Jan. 27. The Bulldogs began the game against the Mustangs with a 17-0 lead in the first part of the first quarter. That loss, to me, had the potential to beat Burnet twice. But Kiser and his staff rallied the Bulldogs, who performed admirably in defeating the Badgers and putting themselves in great position to still be crowned district champions. That’s because they are the only team to beat Gateway in the first round and will get a chance to sweep the season series Tuesday, Jan. 31, when they travel there for the 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
  3. Since we’re handing out credit, let’s talk about the girls district race. The Marble Falls Lady Mustangs remain in sole possession of first place after beating Jarrell 57-50 Jan. 27 to sweep the Lady Cougars and defeating Burnet 55-48 Jan. 24 to earn the important split in the season series. The game against the Lady Dawgs loomed large because it was the first contest of the second round of district play, and Marble Falls had to win to keep a half-game lead in the standings over Lampasas and in great position of winning the district championship. Though the scores indicate the games were won in the single digits, they never felt like they were that close. While some may have wanted larger winning margins, it’s important to note that wins are more important. Needless to say, earning a victory, no matter how it looks, is what matters. And players on these other teams are all used to qualifying for the postseason, too, so they’re going to play with maximum effort until the final horn sounds. Credit the Lady Mustangs for performing well as opponents are bringing their best to ruin the district leader. It doesn’t get easier Tuesday, Jan. 31, when Marble Falls goes to Lampasas for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off in pursuit of another district sweep.
  4. Speaking of splitting season series, the Burnet Lady Dawgs accomplished that in beating Lampasas 51-38 Jan. 27. This victory isn’t all that surprising to those who watched the Marble Falls-Burnet contest earlier in the week. The Lady Dawgs looked like they were finding their strides after losing junior MaeSyn Gay to a season-ending injury. Three different times during that contest I thought the Lady Mustangs had broken the Lady Dawgs’ will. In fact, I turned to fans during as a timeout was being called to state “the sharks are circling” only to see Burnet’s resolve to fight back. The Lady Dawgs ended that contest on an 11-1 run and came back from 20 points down. Now at 3-3 in the district standings, Burnet is third with the possibility of finishing higher. The Lady Dawgs welcome Jarrell Friday, Feb. 3, and end the season at Lago Vista Tuesday, Feb. 7. The Lady Dawgs will welcome Wimberley at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in a non-district contest.
  5. The Faith Academy of Marble Falls boys basketball team crushed Temple Holy Trinity 65-37 Jan. 27 to win two in a row in District 3-3A play of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools and remain no worse than a half game behind district leader Waco Live Oak. The Flames welcome Temple Central Texas Christian Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. Before that the Lady Flames play CTC in a 6 p.m. contest.
  6. The Llano Yellow Jackets continue storming through District 5-3A, adding another tremendous win at Comfort for their ninth consecutive victory 60-27. To illustrate how dominant the Jackets are, consider this. So far this school year, Llano won the football district championship with an undefeated record. The Llano basketball team also is undefeated with a 5-0 district record after the first round. Llano travels to Brady Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Let’s see if the Jackets can keep this going and add another undefeated district title to the school year. Meanwhile, the Lady Jackets lost to Comfort 42-33 and must travel to Brady Tuesday, Jan. 31, to Ingram Tom Moore Friday, Feb. 3, before hosting district leader Blanco Tuesday, Feb. 7, to end the regular season. It’s a crucial week for the Lady Jackets, who are looking to split the season series with Brady, which is in second place in the district standings, and sweep the season series against Ingram. Brady beat Llano 39-37 and the Lady Jackets defeated Ingram 31-29 in the first round. If the Lady Jackets can beat Ingram, they’ll finish third in the standings.
  7. Let’s go to the pitch and talk soccer. Congrats to the Burnet Bulldogs and Lady Dawgs for earning big District 25-4A wins against Florence Friday, Jan. 27. The Bulldogs won at home 2-0, bouncing back from a 7-0 loss to Austin Achieve Jan. 24 in the district opener. The Lady Dawgs (12-2-1) are 2-0 in district play thanks to wins against Florence 8-0 and Austin Achieve 7-1. The Bulldogs welcome Jarrell, while the Lady Dawgs travel to Jarrell Tuesday, Jan. 31, for the 7 p.m. starts.
  8. Tied with the Lady Dawgs for first place in the district are the Marble Falls Lady Mustangs, who beat Georgetown Gateway 3-0 and Lago Vista 2-0. Meanwhile, the Marble Falls Mustangs are 1-0 in district play after beating Lago Vista 8-0 Jan. 24. The Mustangs play Austin Harmony, a team they’ve beaten already this season in non-district play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. Both teams face Austin Achieve at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. The Lady Mustangs are at home, while the Mustangs travel.
  9. Two more powerlifters automatically qualified for the regional meet thanks to their totals at the Llano Invitational Jan. 26. They are Llano’s Gwyn Burnett with a total of 645 pounds and Emily Leach with a total of 925 pounds. They helped the Lady Jackets place first in the team standings. Meanwhile, the Marble Falls Mustangs won the boys division of the Llano Invitational and continue to impress the competition.
  10. The Burnet High School Water Dogs had 12 swimmers qualify for the state meet, which is Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 8-10, at Josh Davis Natatorium and Bill Walker Pool in San Antonio. As always, Burnet’s green wave is the standard in this sport in the Highland Lakes.

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