CAPTION: Marble Falls senior Alyssa Berkman and the Lady Mustangs complete their march through District 24-4A and capture at least a share of the crown. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School girls basketball team crushed Lago Vista 44-22 Feb. 3 after losing to Lampasas 52-41 Feb. 2.
The results of both contests assure the Lady Mustangs of at least a share of the District 24-4A crown, their first since the 2017-18 season. There’s a chance Marble Falls could win the district championship outright if Lampasas loses at Jarrell Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the regular season finale.
“I’m extremely proud of our girls,” head coach John Berkman said. “There’s a lot that goes into it. You have to work hard and show up every game and do the big things and the small things. We played well enough to win the district title.”
Against Lago Vista, the Lady Mustangs began the contest on a 7-0 run that resulted in a 9-3 lead after the first quarter that went to 23-13 at the half.
The Lady Mustangs’ depth and commitment to finishing the regular season the right way was simply too much for the Lady Vikings as they were overwhelmed — by Marble Falls’ accuracy in throwing teammates open, speed to get steals and push the pace for quick buckets, and knocking down the open jumper.
That led to outscoring Lago Vista 13-3 in the third period en route to the victory.
Berkman said he sees that type of effort from his players daily when Max Copeland Gym is empty of fans.
“That’s how you win,” he said, “is at practice.”
Defensively, the Lady Mustangs allowed the Lady Vikings to score a total of five field goals: three 2-pointers and two 3-pointers. Meanwhile Marble Falls dropped in a total of 16: 11 2-pointers and five 3-pointers thanks to seniors Mackenzie Farmer and Tea Rodriguez. who each connected on one long-rang shot, and Alyssa Berkman, who scored three of them.
Berkman led Marble Falls with 12 points followed by junior center Lexie Edwards, who scored 10 points thanks to knocking down four 2-point field goals.
Lampasas began the contest on an 11-0 run for a 20-5 advantage after the first quarter. Half the points come from knocking down 3-pointers. The Lady Badgers increased the lead to 27-5 with about five minutes left in the first half before the Lady Mustangs went on a 13-6 run to trail 33-18 at the half.
“We were a little quick on the trigger,” Berkman said. “We didn’t have a great offensive night. And you combine that with some bad decisions. They had more effort on rebounding. We didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the offensive boards. Defense and rebounding is about effort. ”
Still, the Lady Mustangs stepped back on the court for the second half determined to show why they have been state-ranked in Class 4A for most of the season.
“We cut it to two at one point,” the coach said. “But we had a lapse and allowed them to go on a run. The first quarter was the difference in the game. In the third and fourth quarters, there was better effort. Lampasas was tough. They were more aggressive and more on top of things, more than we were.”
Berkman said once the regular season ends and district play has been complete, a determination will be made on district seeding. If Lampasas and Marble Falls each have the same record, there will be a determination on which one will enter the postseason as District 24’s No. 1 seed.
District 24 is matched up against District 23. That means the District 24 No. 1 seed will face China Spring, while the No. 2 seed will either face Salado or Waco Connally. The playoffs begin Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 13-14.
But before Berkman looked ahead, he, his players and staff were going to enjoy the district title.
“I’m really excited for our team and our girls,” he said. “Not everybody gets to be apart of a district championship.”
Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.