Basketball Featured Football High School High School 

Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights

CAPTION: More than 1,300 Marble Falls fans packed Max Copeland Gym Feb. 17 to help the Lady Mustangs win their second-round playoff game against Caldwell. Next up is Waco La Vega, Class 4A’s No. 3-ranked team, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Fun doesn’t begin to describe what’s been happening in the athletic department at Marble Falls High School. Two district titles on the hardwood and two teams on the pitch with one as the district leader and the other is in second place after the first round ended. But the Mustangs and Lady Mustangs aren’t alone in earning success even if those other teams’ seasons ended. Let’s take a closer look.

  1. For the second Friday in a row, Marble Falls fans filled Max Copeland Gym to give the Lady Mustangs an assist as they welcomed Caldwell for an area playoff game Feb. 17. Fans had rested their vocal cords and had a long line outside of the facility waiting to take their seats 30 minutes before tip-off. But the unexpected happened. The Lady Mustangs didn’t need any outside help, dominating from start to finish in building a 16-1 lead in the first period that did more than balloon throughout the contest resulting in a 77-15 victory. Four players dropped in 15 3-pointers and the team finished the contest with a red-hot shooting percentage of 55 percent. And I saw firsthand why fans said in November that Marble Falls would win the district championship in an undefeated campaign. It’s hard to imagine that had the Lady Mustangs shot like that in the losses to Burnet and Lampasas, they would have lost. Now the Lady Dawgs and Lady Badgers would probably say they would have adjusted defensively to ensure the hot shooting cooled off way before it got out of hand. And Burnet could point out the Lady Mustangs shot that way in the rematch at The Doghouse to begin the game and the Lady Dawgs still came back to lose by a couple of possessions. Still, give the Lady Mustangs credit in what was their home finale for the 2022-23 season. They played like the champions they are and reinforced the belief and confidence of those around them in their incredible performance. They face Waco La Vega, Class 4A’s No. 3 ranked team, at 7 p.m. at Georgetown High. La Vega beat Houston Yates 123-20 Feb. 16 and is the favorite to win the region and advance to the state tournament.
  2. A wall separates the Lady Mustangs’ locker room in Max Copeland Gym from the other basketball district champion, the Marble Falls Mustangs. It’s been a magical season for them as they ended a 36-game losing streak in the 55-47 season-opening win against Lockhart Nov. 12. Since then the Mustangs swept Burnet en route to winning a share of the district championship and head coach Travis Crain won a coin flip to enter the postseason as the district’s No. 1 seed. Seeing how far this team has come in the last several months is truly remarkable. Now they must guard against complacency as they take on China Spring at 7 p.m. at Killeen Chaparral High School for a bi-district championship.
  3. Basketball season has ended for Burnet High School. The Bulldogs lost to Lampasas 76-67 in triple overtime for finish the district race at 5-5. Because Jarrell beat Marble Falls in the regular season finale and swept the Bulldogs during the regular season, the Cougars advanced to the postseason. That’s a tough way for a season to end, especially in a district that had so much parity.
  4. The Lady Dawgs’ season ended in back-to-back losses. They lost to Waco Connally 55-48 in a bi-district championship Feb. 13 where senior guard Grace Gates hit a 3-pointer to pull Burnet to a 51-48 deficit with about 45 seconds left. Credit Conally for hitting free throws to ice the game. That loss came on the heels of losing a seeding game to Lampasas 41-36 Feb. 10. Many people in north Burnet County believe that had junior MaeSyn Gay not suffered a season-ending injury, the Lady Dawgs would have been the district champions. It’s hard to argue that because of the result of the district opener at Max Copeland Gym when Gay was in the line-up. Still, I maintain the Lady Mustangs had improved since that loss and was a better team in the rematch. I may be the only person in south Burnet County who would have liked to have witnessed the second game with Gay playing. Let me offer this though. Without Gay in the line-up, the Lady Dawgs had to rely on others to do more. One of those athletes is junior center Zaria Solis. And just like the loss to Taylor in football has driven the returners — particularly the juniors — during the offseason, my belief is the basketball team will be equally driven, too. And that’s really bad for everybody else since I believe Solis obtained more than being the focal point of Burnet’s offense. Her play showed everybody, including herself, the talent other coaches quietly talk about. And two motivated, talented and driven athletes in the same line-up spells trouble for everybody else.
  5. Another harsh ending to a basketball season occurred in Burnet County. For only the second time since Zakk Revelle was the head coach, the Faith Academy Flames lost a home playoff game. This one occurred Feb. 14 to Pasadena First Baptist Christian Academy 52-44. The loss meant saying good-bye to several seniors, including Brock Davis, who should be the player of the year. If he didn’t average a double-double in points and rebounds for the season, he came awfully close. He was the most complete power forward in the county and could do things others could not. Again this is another example of the cruelty of the sport. My hope is the players remember their four consecutive district crowns more than the ending to this season.
  6. The Lady Flames’ basketball season ended in a 68-24 loss to Tomball Rosehill Christian Feb. 14. Still head coach Kat Canada couldn’t help but smile at the way her players competed against the No. 1 team in Class 3A of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. She said the Lady Flames played with great effort in one of their best performances of the season.
  7. The Llano Yellow Jackets are the District 5-3A champions after beating Comfort 76-36. That victory ends a 33-year drought of not winning the district title. In a lot of ways, these Jackets are very similar to the Lady Mustangs with tremendous guard play, accurate shooting and a stingy defense that forces opponents into mistakes Llano turns into points. Their top player is junior Weston Baker, but he’s not the only one. In short, that roster is filled with self-confident athletes who are used to success and bring their best to every workout, to the classroom and to their homes. That is the epitome of champions.
  8. The Lady Jackets’ season ended Feb. 13 in a 69-9 loss to Jim Ned, Class 3A’s No. 2 team in the state. But the Lady Jackets had won much more long before the game tipped off. They’d won the hearts and respect of their community for their constant effort and never-die attitude. They dedicated their performances to former girls athletic coordinator and head basketball coach Todd Lange and distance running coach Steve Golemon, who both died during the 2021-22 school year, and competed in ways that made them proud. Now it’s up to the athletes to decide what type of program they want and how they want to go about obtaining it.
  9. Plenty of excitement was on the soccer fields Feb. 14 and outcomes between Burnet and Marble Falls weren’t shocking to those who follow the teams. The Lady Dawgs beat the Lady Mustangs 5-3 after the two teams played to a 2-2 half-time tie and Marble Falls took a 3-2 lead with about 13 minutes left in the game. Burnet then proceeded to score three goals for the win. The Mustangs also won big 10-0. The Lady Dawgs and the Mustangs are unbeaten in the district standings and the Lady Mustangs are in second while the Bulldogs are third. The boys have four matches left, while the girls have five.
  10. Monday, Feb. 20, is an important day for female powerlifters in the state as coaches will be notified which of their athletes qualified for regionals. The expectation is there will be a large number going to regionals representing the Highland Lakes. That information should be shared with coaches late Monday and a story will be on this web site once we know more.
  11. A tidbit of football news. The Llano Yellow Jackets celebrated their 13-1 season Feb. 18 at their banquet that included a sit-down barbecue dinner and tons of awards. Obviously when a team plays in 14 contests in a season, its players receive state-wide recognition, meaning the event was about four hours long in handing out program, district, regional and state-wide awards. I feel safe in saying more than 250 people attended the event and never tired of applauding the athletes and their coaches for all the memories. It was a very special night that was planned very well, especially by head coach Matt Green, who served as the master of ceremonies and introduced every varsity player by name and gave a unique and different story about each one on why his contributions were vitally important to the program’s success. The evening was a great reminder of why the 2022 Jackets were extraordinary. But they weren’t the only Llano squad to win a football district championship as the junior varsity, freshmen and eighth-graders also captured the district crowns. There’s plenty to look forward to and other players wanting to be apart of history and add to the winning tradition of Jacket football.

Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.

Related posts

Leave a Comment