Mustangs battle to the end

Nathan Hendrix/The Highlander
Mustangs forward Conner Chase (21) rips the ball away from a Grizzlies player on Friday. Despite the loss, head coach Matt Bailey said he was proud of the Mustangs' effort and fight.

 

 

 

 

By Nathan Hendrix

Sports Editor

The Marble Falls boys' basketball team couldn't remove the lid from the basket in a 57-49 loss to the Glenn Grizzlies at home on Friday.

The Mustangs went one-for-16 from three-point range in the game with their sole basket coming with 37 seconds remaining in the game.

“Our Achilles heel all year has been we don't hit enough shots,” Mustangs head coach Matt Bailey said. “We had some tough looks, and we had some good looks.”

The Marble Falls offense came out rolling and got some easy baskets at the rim after beating the press. The teams flashed different styles as the Mustangs worked the ball inside, and the Grizzlies attempted three-point shots on several consecutive possessions to open the game. Halfway through the first quarter, Glenn had only two makes, and the Mustangs led 12-6.

The Mustangs maintained that six-point led until the final minute of the first quarter, but the Grizzlies responded with five unanswered points to close the gap to one before the end of the period.

In the second, the tug-of-war on the scoreboard began. The Mustangs built another six-point lead with offensive rebounds and continued inside success, but saw it quickly fade when the three-ball failed to connect.

The Grizzlies again closed the gap, and Marble Falls led by one point at halftime.

The Mustangs scored only 10 points in the third quarter as the offense began to stagnate. Senior Andrew Stripling scored four points on breakaway layups following steals, and sophomore Tate Deering made two free throws following a Glenn technical foul.

Glenn opened a six-point lead of their own at the beginning of the fourth quarter following another three-point shot by Grizzlies senior Pearce Waid. The Mustangs moved into a half-court press to prevent the Grizzlies from milking the clock.

“We're not deep enough to press all game,” Bailey said. “We pick and choose when to press. We're only suiting up eight guys.”

Although the press worked, scores were still rare for Marble Falls, and they ran out of time. Desperation three-point misses led to long rebounds and easy layups for the Grizzlies. Senior Joshua Mosley connected on a three with 37 seconds remaining, but it was too late. Glenn closed the game at the free throw line and left the Max Copeland Gym with a crucial district victory.

“We played our tails off,” Bailey said. “I want to let everyone know how proud I am of our effort. We battled every second.”

The Mustangs travel to Pflugerville on Tuesday to face the Weiss Wolves, who are winless in district play. Marble Falls defeated the Wolves 44-40 on Jan. 11.

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