Cheyenne Brown Leads Martin’s Mill To Fourth State Championship With 49-36 Win Over Gruver
SAN ANTONIO -- The Gruver Lady Hounds came into Saturday afternoon's Class 2A state championship game bound and determined not to let Martin's Mill star post Cheyenne Brown beat them.
It happened anyway.
Despite double and triple teams throughout, Brown put up 29 points to lead Martin's Mill to a 49-36 victory at the Alamodome for the school's fourth state title and second in three years.
Brown, a 6-0 Northwestern State signee, added eight rebounds and six blocks and was a near-perfect 15-of-16 from the free-throw line. She was 6-for-6 at the stripe during the closing minutes. Brown was later named the 2A tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Aside from Brown, it was a struggle offensively for Martin's Mill (31-7), which shot just 31.6 percent from the field. Brown was 7-of-13 shooting, but the rest of the team was just 5-for-25 (20 percent).
Gruver (31-6) dared Martin's Mill to attempt 3-point shots by packing the lane with defenders to contend with Brown, who passed out of the triple teams with regularity. Unfortunately for Martin's Mill, Gruver was able to hang around because of the Lady Mustangs' 3-for-21 performance from beyond the 3-point line.
Martin's Mill was plus-seven in rebounding and got to the free-throw line 26 times as a team, making 22 of the foul shots. Gruver, meanwhile, only attempted nine free throws for the game.
Gruver was equally as woeful from the field, shooting 31 percent. Reagan Haynes led the Lady Hounds with 11 points, six rebounds and five steals, while Hadlee Spivey had 10 points and made two 3-pointers. Both players were hampered by early foul trouble.
Martin's Mill never trailed in the game, which was tied only once, when a Spivey 3-pointer answered a long range shot by Lady Mustangs freshman Briley Moon for a 3-3 tie just one minute into the action.
A personal 6-0 run from Brown midway through the second quarter opened up an 18-10 lead for Martin's Mill. The Lady Mustangs scored just two points in the final 4:08 of the half, but still managed to go into halftime with a 20-13 advantage, with Brown accounting for 16 of Martin's Mill's points.
Gruver played with more energy to being the second half, cutting Martin's Mill lead to two points twice in the third quarter.
With the Lady Mustangs clinging to a 32-29 lead early in the fourth, Martin's Mill finally connected on a 3-pointer when Hailey Celsur knocked one down to increase the lead to six points with 6:43 to play.
It seemed as if Martin's Mill would run away from Gruver for good moments later when a Jocie Bennett jump shot pushed the Lady Mustangs' lead to 41-31 with 2:37 remaining.
But Haynes came right back down the floor and hit a jumper, stole the inbounds pass, made a layup and got fouled in the process. After the made free throw, the Martin's Mill had been cut in half in a matter of 16 seconds.
Martin's Mill then went on an 8-0 run the rest of the way to close the game, getting a Brown layup and six made free throws combined by Brown and Moon.
No. 9 Martin's Mill 49, No. 7 Gruver 36
Girls Class 2A State Championship
At Alamodome, San Antonio
Gruver 7 6 14 9 -- 36
Martin's Mill 10 10 10 19 -- 49
GRUVER (31-6) -- Reagan Haynes, 11; Hadlee Spivey, 10; Brennyn Seagler, 8; Klaire Irwin, 7.
MARTIN'S MILL (31-7) -- Cheyenne Brown, 29; Jocie Bennett, 6; Briley Moon, 6; Alyssa Pate, 5; Hailey Celsur, 3.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Gruver: Irwin (2), Spivey (2). Martin's Mill: Celsur, Moon, Pate.