Marble Falls battles Liberty Hill in shootout
December 01, 2012, 8:00 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Marble Falls and Liberty Hill combined to make 17 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in the teams’ 81-72 battle Friday in the Marble Falls Classic.
"We finally made some shots,’’ Marble Falls coach Neil Laminack said.
The Mustangs plays a solid inside-outside combination, but didn’t make enough big plays when Liberty Hill elected to slow down the pace to a half-court battle in the second half.
Joey Blackledge hit four treys and made three in the bang-bang second quarter.
Ben Stripling added three 3-pointers.
Stripling finished with 15 points and Blackledge 14 points to complement the inside game of Rey Baltazar and Ishiah Carson.
Baltazar, the team’s power center, finished with a season-high 20 points and was intimidating with his block shots and rebounding, too.
"It was real fun to get up and down like that,’’ said Baltazar. "That’s when our games is the best when we are getting the ball in and out.’’
Baltazar had six points each in the first and fourth quarters. Carson, the team’s best leaper, was also effective with 17 points.
Marble Falls scored 22 points in the first and 25 in the second and were knotted at 47 apiece at halftime. Marble Falls scored 15 in the third and just 10 in the fourth when unbeaten Liberty Hill showed a lot of patience.
"This is just part of us getting better,’’ Laminack said. "We are playing hard and with confidence…It was nice to see the shots fall for us.’’
Midway through the fourth quarter, it was a five-point game (73-68 Liberty Hill). The Panthers (8-0) hit a reverse layup and made six free throws over the final four minutes.
Marble Falls’ Baltazar powered his way on a follow shot and drew a foul with 3:12 left. The senior missed the free throw leaving the score at 75-70. A minute later, Baltazar ignite the crowd with a blocked shot.
Marble Falls was unable to overtake the Panthers, who played some keep away with its excellent guards. Marble Falls’ Carson had a marginal charging call go against him with 43 seconds left for another nail in the defeat for the Mustangs.
Despite losing, the game was one of the team’s best efforts of the season.Marble Falls is 2-7 with the loss to Liberty Hill and has two games on Saturday to close out the tournament. Tipoffs are 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. for the Mustangs
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