The basketball mill - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

The basketball mill

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

MARTIN'S MILL, TX (KLTV) -   In Martin's Mill basketball is always the top story.

"The first thing we talk about is basketball, cows and hay," said basketball fan Jerry Don Daniel.  "Everyone dreams of playing basketball."

There's not much else to do.

"We have a school and a store," said Martin's Mill Senior Emily Williams.

If you're not in the store.  You're probably in the gym.

"November through October each year, the gym is busy," said Martin's Mill Superintendent Todd Schneider.

Doug Barncastle came to Martin's Mill six years ago.  Six years later, the trophy case is full.  The Lady Mustangs are making their 6th straight trip to state.

"Each year has a special moment and we have to savor those moments while we can," said Barncastle.

Jerry Don Daniel won't miss a game.  He was a team manager when the Martin's mMll boys won state in 1949.

"I've never forgot after all these years," said Daniel.  "The town hasn't either. We dreamed of going back, but not until the girls came on did we make it back."

Daniel has watched two granddaughters win state championships in 2006 and 2008. The dynasty started at an early age.

"I've been playing since I was in the first grade and it's just really competitive," said Martin's Mill Senior Joanna Daniel.

"That's all of our dreams when we're little," said Williams. "To be on varsity and go as far as we can. Having a full stadium, and you walking out there, and it's like they're there to watch you play. I'm going to miss that so much."

The gym will be empty on Friday.  The Lady Mustangs and their friends will be in a much bigger gym in Austin.

Joanna Daniel hopes the streak continues long after she's gone.

"We hope they keep it going and hope in the future that the girls have the same attitude to want to win the state championship each year."

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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