Coach Wayne Roberts was looking for his Tigers to go 2-0 on day one of the Godley Tournament and thus only have to play one Friday game – mission accomplished.
Glen Rose (10-6) bested Bowie 50-37 and then drilled Alvord 66-23.
Against Bowie, the Tigers scored at least 10 in each quarter and only allowed Bowie to exceed eight points once.
“Coming back from the (holiday) break, we started off really well,” Roberts said. “We held them to 13 points in the first half after deciding we wanted to come out and press. Overall, it was a good win for us.
“We got a bit of a rhythm going and hit some shots, but also did some things we needed to do defensively. If we can keep teams under 40 points, we should have a good chance to win.”
Heading into the half up 29-13, the Tigers were outscored 17-11 in the third. They did win the fourth 10-7.
“We decided we’d come out and play half-court defense, but they had their best offensive quarter by far,” Roberts said. “One of their guys got loose for 10 points in the quarter and scored all of their points in the fourth; we have to do a better job of knowing who their main weapon is and shutting him down.”
Ben Coppock led the charge with 16 points.
“I’m sure the five days off helped Ben,” Roberts said. “He got a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks, so he was very active.”
Other notable scorers were Colton Bretton (8), Jeffery Harris (8) and Stetson Overton (5).
“Jeffery hit shots and the only time he got in trouble was when he turned down open, good shots,” the coach said. “He’s learning and getting better like our other guys. We subbed five in and five out for much of the first half to get everybody back in the flow.”
The Alvord contest was close after one quarter, but a remarkable 30-3 second quarter for the Tigers left the opposition in the dust.
“We started off really slow (vs. Alvord), but we learned a lot from the Hico game about being patient and shots started falling,” Roberts said. “Our defense was excellent in the first half to hold them to five points. It was a good game to get everyone in for playing time, especially as the second game of the day.”
Eight Tigers scored at least five points, including Marquis Holder (12), Coppock (9), Justin Potter (7), Hayden Bach (7), Bretton (6), Curry Mapes (6), Harris (6) and Overton (5).
“That was good to see,” Roberts said. “I think our second team played more minutes than our starters and they did a good job executing.”
Marquis Holder liked seeing the Tiger bench loom large.
“It’s good to see all those guys contributing,” Marquis said. “They deserve to get out there, put in some effort and they did really well. We showed a lot of focus (Thursday). We executed pretty well for not having played over the holidays and we want to win this tournament.”
Glen Rose led 8-2 after the first quarter, paced by four points from Bretton.
“I knew watching (Alvord’s) zone defense it was tough,” Roberts said. “They don’t let you get the ball inside. We made a couple of adjustments, and part of that was Marquis hitting those 15-footers.”
Several Tigers ran wild in the scintillating 30-3 second quarter, as Harris, Overton, Potter and Bach each hit a three-pointer. The Tigers were really working the offensive boards, especially Harris.
“That surpasses our 31-8 first quarter against China Spring as the most we’ve outscored someone this season,” Roberts said. “Things just really started clicking with our second bunch, and then our first bunch came back in there and kept it going. Our depth was certainly an advantage. Jeffery just keeps getting better and he battled.”
Marquis Holder actually led the team with six points in in the quarter, as he nailed a trio of midrange jumpers.
“I was just going in there throwing up shots,” the senior said. “Coach says if you get a good shot, take it and that’s what I did. I think those (midrange) shots are a strength for me. In the second quarter, we came out and played a little harder.”
Roberts was quick to credit the elder Holder brother.
“I thought Marquis played a really good game to hit those elbow jumpshots against the zone,” Roberts said. “That sort of opens things up and we’ve missed that lately. His shots were a big key to that second quarter.”
The final three points of the half were impressive, as Potter took a Mapes pass and drained a wing three at the buzzer (38-5).
“Justin can do that,” Roberts said. “The key for him is to play with intensity, but that was a good shot for him to end the quarter.”
The Tigers won the third quarter 19-13, but it was notable that most of Alvord’s points in the game came in the frame.
“Alvord made some offensive adjustments at the half and eventually we adjusted (accordingly) at the defensive end to slow them down,” Roberts said.
Mapes made two of the four Tiger threes in the quarter, including a deep pull-up from the top of the arc.
“We have to start shooting the ball when we’re open, so it was good to see him do that,” Roberts said.
Marquis Holder assisted Hayden Holder on a three, and both of then did nice work on the boards.
“I think we have a real good rebounding team,” Roberts said. “Alvord was physical, but guys like Hayden and Marquis took care of the boards.”
As the Tigers took the fourth quarter 9-5, Cody Burtscher, Coppock, Colton Bumpas and Potter all attacked the basket successfully. Taylor Hansen worked hard on defense and got a number of deflections.
“It’s good to see that from Taylor, and I was pleased with our defense in the fourth overall,” Roberts said.
The Tigers return to the Godley Tournament on Friday for a 3 p.m. ballgame.
“I’m glad we took care of business (Thursday) and just have one game Friday,” Roberts said.