Marble Falls picks up momentum
December 29, 2012, 3:00 pm by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Marble Falls gained some momentum and got a glimpse of District 25-4A teams in the Wimberley Tournament.
The Mustangs played four games in three days and picked up two forfeits.
Marble Falls improved to 13-12 overall and will open District 25-4A play Wednesday with Cedar Park at Marble Falls. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. for the opener.
"We’re playing some pretty good basketball right now,’’ Marble Falls coach Neil Laminack said after the Mustangs notched three wins on the court in Wimberley.
Marble Falls beat Cuero, Austin Eastside Memorial and Wimberley before losing to Laredo Nixon on Saturday.
The tournament was set up for the Mustangs to face district rival Dripping Springs in an afternoon consolation game on Saturday, but Dripping Springs left opting not to face a district team in a tournament with the district schedule starting this week.
"It was a forfeit,’’ Laminack said. "They just got on the bus and left without saying a word.’’
The tournament was a good warm up for the Mustangs.
Some of the highlights in the tournament were a career-highs by Ben Stripling (25 points) in the team’s 51-46 win over the host Wimberley Texans and center Rey Baltazar’ 35 in a 68-41 win over Eastside Memorial.
Baltazar was solid throughout the tournament in the post and the team also got excellent guard play.
Stripling’s effort Friday night was huge.
The junior made his first three attempts, all from 3-point land to put the team up 9-0 against the Texans.
"I hit those first three and we just got going,’’ Stripling said. "Everybody did a good job of getting me the ball.’’
Stripling was six of eight from 3-point range. Baltazar added 15 points against Wimberley.
The tournament started with a forfeit from San Antonio Hawkins, which didn’t show up the first day of the tournament.
In their 57-38 win over Cuero, four Mustangs hit double figures led by Stripling with 16, Baltazar 12, Joey Blackledge 11 and Collin Edwards 10 points.
Then they rolled against Austin Eastside Memorial. Baltazar had 13 points in the first quarter and 10 in the fourth quarter en route to the 35-point outburst in the 68-41 victory.
The team’s lone loss was a shootout game with Laredo Nixon on Saturday morning.
Nixon was solid with a 83-61 victory over the Mustangs.Laredo’s strong first half put Marble Falls in
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