After a dreadful start to the season for the Glen Rose Tigers (6-14, 2-1), a pair of wins against district rivals had them tied for second place in 7-3A entering this week.
“(The coaches) stepped in on Monday and told the team how big this week was going to be,” said Glen Rose head coach Wayne Roberts. “We’re currently tied for second in the district with West and we go there on Tuesday for a chance at second place outright. Obviously we’ve struggled, but it’s good to get two in a row heading into a big game like this.”
It seemed destined to be a long season for Roberts and the Tigers after starting off 4-13, dropping the district opener 44-18 and losing Travis Huber to an MCL strain.
But a 15-point win on Tuesday, a messy yet effective 12-point win on Friday and news of Huber’s potential return has Glen Rose thinking playoffs yet again.
Glen Rose 47, China Spring 32
China Spring pressed, pressed and pressed some more against Glen Rose, but the host Tigers finally figured it out in the second quarter and went on to a 47-32 on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Glen Rose was held to just 3-14 shooting from the field and eight points in the first quarter, but still managed a two-point lead thanks to a defensive effort that limited the Cougars to six.
Will Tubbs’ big second quarter - he had seven of the team’s 16 points - and a 13-5 run led to a 24-17 Glen Rose lead with the seconds winding down in the first half.
Those final few seconds proved bad for the Tigers in more ways than one.
China Spring laid in a buzzer-beater to make it five-point deficit at halftime, but the big hit came just before that position when Jorge Espino pulled up lame with a knee injury. He did not return to the game.
Espino suffered a knee injury during the third week of the 2009 football season which sidelined him several weeks.
The Tigers opened the second half on a 9-0 run and never looked back. The Tigers’ offensive success came on 2-on-1 situations left available by the Cougars’ press defense.
Immanuel Morales was the leading scorer with 12 points and six rebounds. Ty Taylor tacked on nine points and led the team with seven boards. Tubbs finished with nine and RJ Nowak knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to finish with six points. Colt Plaster (5), Espino (4) and Denver Tipton (2) rounded out the scoring.
Glen Rose 44, Hillsboro 32
Devincent Brooks poured in 16 first-half points against the Tigers on Friday, Jan. 22, but the Glen Rose “D” shut him down in the final two quarters and the Tigers picked up a 44-32 road victory.
“After halftime we really wanted to clamp down on Brooks and we did,” said Roberts. “He had 16 in the first half and we held him scoreless in the third. We switched things up and went back to our regular defense. We looked for him off screens and we knew where he was all the time.”
As Brooks went, so did the Eagles.
Brooks was held to just three points in the second half and the entire team scored just nine. The Tigers’ 27 second half points were more than enough to secure the victory.
Espino returned to action from injury and led the way with 22 points to go along with nine steals, five rebounds and three assists.
Plaster finished with nine points and three assists while Taylor racked up five points, four boards and four steals.
Tipton and Morales grabbed five rebounds each. Morales also added one point while Kevin Brooks (7) wrapped up the scoring for Glen Rose.
The Tigers traveled to West Tuesday, looking to claim sole possession of second place with a win. They return home Friday to host Whitney at 8 p.m.