Martins Mill nearly pulled off a comeback for the ages.
If only Canadian could've missed a few more free throws.
Led by 22 points from Cameron Copley, Canadian held off a furious rally from Martins Mill to deny the Mustangs 68-62 Friday in their Class 2A boys semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Canadian (20-1), ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, advances to face Dallardsville Big Sandy in the 2A final at 1 p.m. Saturday. Martins Mill, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, finishes its season a 33-5. Dallardsville Big Sandy won the other boys semifinal 76-54 over Schulenburg.
The Mustangs connected on 12 3-pointers, many of which came in the game's final six minutes as Martins Mill nearly erased a 16-point deficit. Martins Mill pulled to as close as three points, 62-59, on a trey by Colton Wilson with 1:10 remaining.
But Martins Mill was forced to foul to stop the clock and Canadian continued to make it free throws. Copley drained two from the charity stripe — finished 8 for 8 in the game with the team going 19 of 22 — to make it a 5-point game again.
Martins Mill tried to get off another 3-pointer, but the shot was blocked by Braiden Galla, who fired a pass to Tanner Schafer for a breakaway layup.
Down seven with 36 seconds remaining, Martins Mill's Drew Ingram knocked down the team's 12th trey of the afternoon, but another foul and more free throws from Copley sealed Canadian's win.
Martins Mill junior Davis Moore led all players with 23 points, draining five 3-pointers. Logan Jenkins had 14 with two treys while Hunter Conway finished with nine points in the Mustangs loss.
Canadian had four players in double figures with Ethan Lusk (15), Galla (12) and Schafer (10) joining Copley. The Wildcats also dominated on the glass, outrebounding Martins Mill 34-19, led by nine from Copley.
The Mustangs never led in the contest as Canadian jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening minutes thanks to a couple long-range 3-pointers from Galla and Copley and a three-point play by Copley.
Martins Mill called a timeout and when play resumed Moore immediately took it to the basket for two points. This helped spark the Mustangs, who used two treys from Jenkins and two from Moore to trail 17-14 after the first period.
But the offense dried up for Martins Mill in the second period while Canadian continued to go inside and outside. The Wildcats got baskets from Schafer and Galla while Copley had a three-point play.
Down 28-18, Martins Mill used the three-point line to rally back again with Ingram and Jenkins doing the honors to cut the Mustangs deficit to five points, 28-23, with 3:20 left in the half.
Canadian responded with a 10-0 run to end the half, capped by a 40-foot three pointer from Galla, who launched his shot from near the scorer's table and it hit nothing but net for a 38-23 Canadian lead at the half.
The Wildcats pushed their lead to as high as 19 points in the third period thanks to 3-pointers from Lusk and Galla.
Martins Mill turned up its pressure while Moore and Jenkins provided the offense. Moore hit two 3-pointers while Jenkins rebounded his own miss for a put-back layup to help close the gap to 49-36 entering the fourth.
Canadian stretched the lead back out to 16 with the Mustangs' final comeback falling just short.
Martins Mill says goodbye to seniors Colton Wilson, Drew Ingram, Hunter Conway and Dylan Weatherford while returning nine players, led by juniors Davis Moore and Logan Jenkins.
This was the fourth time that Martins Mill had made the state semifinals. Its only boys state championship occurred in 1949. The boys were attempting to match the girls team, which won a 2A state title last week.
Class 2A Boys Semifinal
Alamodome, San Antonio
No. 7 Canadian 68, No. 2 Martins Mill 62
Martins Mill 14 9 13 26—62
Canadian 17 21 11 19—68
MARTINS MILL—Colton Wilson, 6; Davis Moore, 23; Hunter Conway, 9; Logan Jenkins, 14; Dylan Weatherford, 2; Noah Ingram, 8; Jacob Greenlee, 0. FG: 21-49. FT: 8-11.
CANADIAN—Tanner Schafer, 10; Cameron Copley, 22; Ethan Lusk, 15; Sawyer Cook, 9; Braiden Galla, 12; Cooper Trolinger, 0; Matthew Lynch, 0; Branden Carson, 0; Cory Chidester, 0; Cody Gill, 0. FG: 21-46. FT: 19-22.
THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS—MM (12-29): Moore (5), Wilson (2), Jenkins (2), Conway, Ingram (2). CAN (7-21): Copley (2), Lusk (3), Galla (2).
Rebounds: MM 19 (Moore, Conway, 4); CAN 34 (Copley 9). Assists: MM 8 (Moore 5); CAN 15 (Copley 8). Turnovers: MM 10, CAN 14. Blocks: MM 3 (Conway, Weatherford, Wilson). CAN 1 (Galla). Steals: MM 9 (Wilson). CAN 2 (Lusk, Trolinger).
RECORDS—Martins Mill 33-5; Canadian 20-1
NEXT UP—Martins Mill season complete; Canadian vs. Dallardsville Big Sandy in 2A Final, 1 p.m. Saturday