Junior forward Dalyn Clanin was the catalyst for the Bulldogs' offense early on, but could not take full advantage of a wealth of opportunities from the free throw line. He finished with 10 points to go along with seven rebounds – tied for the team lead – three steals and two assists.
Guard Nich Channer came on strong near the game's end, scoring five of his seven points in the fourth quarter. The 5-foot-10 senior was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe and snagged a rebound and an assist to fill out his stat line.
But no star shone brighter than senior captain Jaxon Martin. The 6-foot-1 guard scored a team-leading 16 points – most of which came in the second half – and excelled at finding the free throw line, where he sunk 8-of-9. He added three steals, two rebounds and an assist.
"He's done a great job all year long," Jones said of Martin. "The 'C' on his chest means something dramatic to me. That's a captain's badge that he's earned. He led us all year long. He's the best player I had on the team this year and he did what great players do and led his team today."
With the loss now in the books, Millsap will turn its attention to continued improvement for next season. The Bulldogs lose some key seniors, including Martin, Channer and 6-foot-6 post Gianluca Adas, but also return many vital pieces, including junior starters Clanin, Michael Rogers and Aaron Peninger and other contributors.
But with returning players also comes stiff competition in Millsap's new home in District 11-3A next season, which features the likes of basketball powers Brock, Glen Rose, Hillsboro and Peaster, among others.
Ultimately, Jones said his goal is for his program to mirror that of the team that just ended Millsap's 2013-14 campaign.