In their first test as the No. 4-ranked girls basketball team in Class 4A, the Glen Rose Lady Tigers passed with flying colors with a 52-43 victory over the Class A Huckabay Lady Indians Tuesday night at Tiger Arena.
Senior center Ally Andress led the Lady Tigers with a double-double with a game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Laiken McAnear added 10 points and four rebounds.
“We need to know when we’re ranked everyone is going to give us their best shot,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said. “We’re not going to get any nights off or any easy games from anyone. To me, we have to be mentally ready to play.”
The Lady Tigers led by five with 7:06 left in the game before the Lady Indians rallied for four straight points to cut the lead to one at 36-35 with 6:10 remaining. They actually had a chance to take the lead a minute later but missed a pair of free throws.
Glen Rose was held scoreless for three minutes during that stretch before Andress connected on the first of three consecutive baskets with 4:34 left to push the lead to 38-35. After her run, the Lady Tigers led 42-35.
After Huckabay cut the lead to three with 1:59 left, Andress drilled her third 3-pointer of the night to put the game on ice.
Glen Rose outscored the Lady Indians 7-2 down the stretch in posting the nine-point win.
The Lady Tigers improved to 9-0, and they will take their unblemished record to the Hillsboro Tournament Thursday-Saturday.
“We want to be known as a great basketball program and a team that should be ranked,” Ghazal said. “I think our girls deserve it. We’re a good team, but we need to know how other teams are going to react to us.”
The game was tied or the lead changed hands three times in the first quarter before the Lady Tigers forged out to a 13-8 lead at the end of the frame.
The Lady Indians fought back and tied the score at 17 with 2:36 left in the first half, and managed to remain within two points at the break at 21-19.
Andress drilled a 3-pointer to open the third quarter, and after Huckabay cut the lead to 24-21, McAnear scored seven straight Glen Rose points to increase the lead to 31-26 with 4:24 left in the quarter.
The Lady Tigers went cold for the remainer of the quarter in scoring just two points the rest of the way and the Lady Indians trimmed the lead to two at 33-31 heading into the final quarter.
Breanna Baker connected on a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter to expand the lead to five before Huckabay whittled the lead to one with 6:10 left, and that was as close at it would get.
“The reason we couldn’t pull away early is because we couldn’t get any defensive stops,” Ghazal said. “We didn’t have the defensive intensity that we normally have. Sometimes we were jogging back on defense, didn’t know who we had and we weren’t closing out well. We need to work on becoming a better defensive team.”
Behind Andress and McAnear, Hailey Ibarra scored six points, dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds. Baker finished with five points and Kashanna Bryant added four.