What the Brownwood Lady Lions’ 54-51 victory over Class 4A Marble Falls lacked in style points, it made up for in sheer importance.
The Lady Lions opened an 18-point second half advantage, which was eventually trimmed to a single point, but Brownwood (1-1)held on down the stretch for its first victory of the season.
“We pulled it out,” said Lady Lions head coach Heather Hohertz, “It wasn’t pretty, but it boosts their confidence and my confidence knowing they can pull it out when it’s close.”
Keeta Vaccaro, the lone contributor back from last season’s third consecutive bi-district championship squad, led the Lady Lions with 25 points.
“Keeta had a breakout game and I’m glad to see her shot back,” Hohertz said. “I told her she just had to relax and shoot, stop thinking about it and have confidence in yourself.”
Ashley Vaccaro chipped in 13 points followed by seven from Cherita George, four from Brooke Montemayor, three from Kacie New and two points by Delaney Hutson.
“Ashley stepped up and made some clutch free throws to keep us ahead,” Hohertz said. “And I’m proud of Rita for stepping up and playing with a big heart.”
The Lady Lions led 18-11 after one quarter and stretched the advantage to 38-22 at halftime, thanks to a 15-2 run to end the second quarter.
After Marble Falls closed to within 23-20, the surge began with consecutive three-pointers by Ashley Vaccaro, a free throw from New and another trey by Keeta Vaccaro, who followed with a free throw and a deuce to cap a 13-0 run that extended Brownwood’s lead to 36-20.
“That spurt showed how good we can be,” Hohertz said.
The Lady Lions’ lead peaked at 42-24, but Marble Falls stormed back and closed to within 52-51 before Ashley Vaccaro tacked on two insurance free throws late. Hohertz attributed the shaky second half to conditioning.
“The first half we were firing on all cylinders,” Hohertz said. “The second half we got fatigued and that’s a case of us needing to get in better shape.”