Timpson Lady Bears take runner-up trophy at Holiday Hoops Tournament
The Tenth Annual Tenaha Holiday Hoops Tournament took place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday following the Christmas holiday.
The tourney saw19 girls’ teams gathered at the Tenaha Special Events Center to meet on the hardwood. Among those 19 teams, five of them were ranked within the top 15 in the state. LaPoynor holds the No. 14 spot in the 1A, Lipan is hot on their heels at No. 12, Centerville rests at No. 11 for 2A teams, Timpson holds the No. 8 ranking for 2A, and finally, Martin’s Mill is the top dog in 2A holding the No. 1 spot.
The Martin’s Mill Lady Mustangs became the state champion girls’ basketball team back in March of 2018
This championship marked their fifth since 2006. Ultimately, the Lady Mustangs would claim the top spot at the Tenaha Holiday Hoops Tournament for the third year in a row, but the Timpson Lady Bears, a team on the rise, would prove no easy victory for Martin’s Mill.
The Lady Bears came into this game with an obvious plan, to slow things down and have Martin’s Mill play at the pace that they would dictate. Timpson took every opportunity to let things play out on offense.
They clearly did not want to rush things when the ball was in their hands. Spreading the ball around and letting the plays develop netted the Lady Bears an early lead within the first quarter.
With only 10 seconds left on the clock, however, Lady Mustang Molly Daniel hit a clutch three-pointer for the lead. After Timpson inbounded the ball with time ticking down, Martin’s Mill was able to steal the ball and get it to Daniel for another two points to close the first quarter. As the buzzer sounded, Martin’s Mill was up 10-6.
The Lady Mustangs had taken hold of ever-valuable momentum heading into the second period. The Lady Bears were unable to hold Martin’s Mill to the pace that they had previously set. Martin’s Mill went on a tear this quarter dropping 20 points in the second quarter. At the half, the score rested at 30-17, Martin’s Mill.
The third quarter truly opened some eyes as to what the Timpson Lady Bears are capable of. Martin’s Mill is a juggernaut within Texas 2A Girls’ Basketball: defending state champs, No. 1 ranked 2A girls’ team, and three-time Tenaha Holiday Hoops champions, but the Lady Bears came out of the locker room at halftime with a purpose.
\ A strong defensive showing and careful avoidance of turnovers by Timpson lead to a scoreless third quarter for the Lady Mustangs. The Lady Bears trimmed the lead down to six with a score of 30-24, Martin’s Mill.
“We went back in at halftime and talked about the game plan we had. The first quarter we held them to eight points until they got a steal and a run out on that last play. We just kind of regrouped after their speed and athleticism.
“Coach Cross [of Martin’s Mill] does such a great job of getting them where they need to be. We just kind of regrouped and got our momentum back. That was our goal.” Girls’ head basketball coach Joshua Jourden said when asked about the scoreless period.
'Unfortunately for the Lady Bears, the Lady Mustangs made their adjustments heading into the fourth quarter and were able to end the game as tournament champions for the third year in a row. The final score in the championship game rested at 44-32, Martin’s Mill.
“Luckily, we had played them before, so we were able to game plan a little bit better for them this time. The kids did a phenomenal job of following the game plan and just doing what we asked them to do and taking care of what they’re capable of doing, staying within themselves and playing about as well as we could minus a few mistakes.” Coach Jourden said following the game.
A pair of juniors led the charge for the Lady Bears. Laiton Braddock and Briley Behrens ended the game with 11 points apiece. Their outstanding play throughout the tournament would lead to All-Tournament Honors for each of them.