The Gatesville Hornets lost a basketball game on Tuesday but found a bona fide superstar — Seth Martin.
A 5-foot-11 senior guard, Martin canned a career-high eight treys against the Taylor Ducks in a 72-65 home loss.
Martin had 33 points total. He scored 11 in the first half, seven in the third quarter and drained five treys for 15 points in the final frame.
Throughout the contest, Taylor head coach Justin Boswell kept screaming at his players, “Get on Number 2 (Martin)!”
“He is an outstanding basketball player,” said Boswell postgame of Martin. “He was fantastic from all over the place. Any time he had a little bit of an opening, he shot that ball with complete confidence.”
Gatesville led 18-17 after the first quarter but trailed 30-29 at halftime.
Thanks to an effective full-court press which led to some easy buckets, Taylor led 54-43 heading into the fourth quarter.
“He (Martin) hit a lot of clutch long-range shots in that fourth quarter,” Boswell said.
“After halftime,” said Martin, “I felt if I had open shots, I should take them. I had no idea that I’d make eight 3s today.”
Despite Martin’s dead-eye missiles, which included a 25-foot swish, Taylor never let its fourth-quarter lead sink below seven points.
Mylik Kerley, the Ducks 6-5 center, was a nightmare for Gatesville. The long-armed Kerley was on the front line of Taylor’s full-court press and finished with a game-high seven steals and team-high 26 points.
“We did today what we do best,” said Kerley. “And that’s play tough defense and play it with intensity.”
As for Martin, Kerley said, “Wow, he can shoot. He is one really good shooter.”
“Seth Martin has made himself tough to defend,” said Gatesville head coach Thomas Winkler. “You come out on him, he’ll beat you on the drive. You sag off him, he’ll hit the shot from the outside.”
In the third quarter, with Gatesville trailing Taylor 46-39, Martin dribbled by a Duck guard at the top of the key and then was staring at two defenders in the paint: 6-5 forward Rodney Patterson and 6-4 forward Brandon Washungton.
Martin lost Patterson with a cross-over, then Washungton rushed out and went for the swat—but all he swatted was air. The right-handed Martin leaped to the hoop, tossed the six-foot shot up with his left hand, got fouled by Washingtun, still scored, then drained his freebie.
“I have no idea how that shot went in,” Martin said. “All I was trying to do was draw the foul and get to the line. I guess you could say I was lucky on that shot.”
Justin Massey scored 10 points for Gatesville and teammates Chris Brown and De’Quan Cross scored eight apiece.
“I think we started off this game pretty well,” said Winkler, now in his second year as the Hornets head coach. “They had a big rebounding advantage over us today and that’s how we eventually got hurt. They have more length than us. But that’s something we’ll see from now on so we do have to figure out a way to handle that.”
“We’ve got to fix our rebounding,” he said. “And we’ve got to stop turning the ball over. If we take care of those two things, if we can put everything together, I feel we can win the district championship.”