Martin's Mill making their 11th visit to the state tournament in - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Martin's Mill making their 11th visit to the state tournament in 12 years

KLTV Staff KLTV Staff

In the small East Texas town of Martin's Mill, it's not football that's king, it's basketball. 

"I think the mentality here and the tradition just seems to carry on year after year. We got a lot of kids here that play year around, it;s important to them. A lot of people here, the kids, parents, the community is passionate about basketball." said Cross, Girl's Head Basketball Coach at Martin's Mill. 

In his second year as the head of the Lady Mustangs, Tommy Cross will be taking his second trip to the state tournament. But what may still be new for Coach Cross, is not new to a program that holds 4 state titles, and has been one of the final four teams left standing 11 out of the past 12 years. 

"It's a lot of pressure, but it's a great honor to represent it [Martin's Mill]. It's a great privilege to play for this team," said Hailey Celsur, senior Lady Mustang and 2015 state champion. 

"It's a great feeling to make our home town proud, make our fans proud. They all come out and support us, so it's just something we have to fulfill," said Briley Moon, junior Lady Mustang. 

Junior and Senior Lady Mustangs like, Briley Moon and Hailey Celsur, already have a championship ring from 2015. They came close to picking up their second last year, but had to take a rain-check after falling short to Wiemar. 

"Last year was a heart-breaker, we didn't expect it like that. But I think that gives us more motivation for this year," said Celsur. 

In order for Martin's Mill take it all in 2017,  they will have to get passed that same opponent Friday morning in the state semifinals. There's no woes about that though, the Lady Mustangs are ready to get revenge. 

"I think once we get out there it's going to be nerve-racking, but wants the ball gets tipped up I think we will all be okay and just play with our hearts," said Moon. 

"We're ready, we're mentally prepared. Wiemar's a good team, they are at the state tournament. So we are going to have to stay focused and take care of business. But being a senior I want to end with a bang, get two rings," said Celsur. 

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