Some habits come with a mixed blessing. The Martins Mill Lady Mustangs have a habit of being one of the best basketball teams in the state. They have proven that by reaching the state tournament seven consecutive times, and the finals five consecutive times. Only one team gets to go home without a loss, however, and the Lady Mustangs came up one game short again.
“The only thing to say is it just wasn’t our day,” said head coach Doug Barncastle after his team fell in the finals to Sudan, 70-40. “We needed to get some more scoring and just couldn’t get enough shots to fall, but I am proud of each and every one of these girls.”
Senior Kelsey Tarrant was able to take a longer look at her time as a Lady Mustang, rather than just her last game.
“I am blessed to have been able to get here all four years,” she said after the game. “Nobody wants to end it this way, but I’m proud of the way we’ve played.”
The Lady Mustangs advanced to the finals with a 71-52 win over Kerens in the semifinals on Thursday. Martins Mill ended the first quarter with a 27-11 lead, and expanded that by outscoring the Ladycats, 17-10 in the second.
Hailey Jenkins led the scoring with 27, followed by Cheyenne Brown with 20, Meagan Weatherford with 10, and Taylor Munns with 7. Tarrant added 5, and Kenzie Roberts had 2.
In the finals, Sudan was hot from the outside, but Martins Mill was able to end the first quarter with a 16-16 tie. Sudan then began to have success driving the lane in the second and took a 37-26 lead into the locker room.
Martins Mill was outscored 19-8 in the third.
The Lady Mustangs ended the season as State Semifinalist and Regional Champions with a 36-5 record.