Through four games, the Lady Tigers have been able to impose their will and leave the opposition in the dust.
Glen Rose (4-0) led visiting Rio Vista 42-17 at halftime on Tuesday in a 68-36 victory.
“I think Rio Vista’s team has come a long way in a year’s time, but we talked about coming out and playing the same way no matter who the opponent is,” said coach Sheree Hill. “It was a good game to get a lot of kids some playing time and I’m pleased with their efforts.”
Senior Kate Sammons (2 steals) had her best offensive game to date with nine points.
“I feel like our team has gotten closer as a family and we’re reading each other better,” she said. “I’m very proud of our team.”
Glen Rose continues to get very good play from its “bigs”, thanks in large part to Kayla Goebel (17 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, 2 blocks) and Destiny Ponce (16 points, 4 rebounds, steal). Other scorers included Reilly Junge (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals), Kiffany Kelly (7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals), Madi Gibson (2 points, 5 rebounds, assist, 4 steals), Shelby Rotan (2 points, 3 assists, steal) and Kelsey Potter (2 points, 3 rebounds).
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the game, as Goebel drilled a wing three and Junge scored in transition after a steal. After hitting a short jumper off a Gibson assist, Sammons had to leave the game with an injury but was able to return roughly a quarter later.
“I landed on my hip and I’d already been having problems with it, but I was able to come back,” she said.
After Goebel hit a bank runner, she assisted Junge on a three and then Junge got the ball to Ponce for a transition layup, as Glen Rose poured it on.
“I’d really like to see five players scoring from the start,” Hill said. “Everyone is finding a way to contribute, but definitely Reilly and Kayla each had a very good game. Reilly does such a good job of trying to get things set up and get people in position.”
Rio Vista was able to hit a couple of much-needed threes late in the quarter, but Rotan answered with a long jumper at the buzzer for a 24-14 advantage.
“Rio Vista did some things well,” Hill said. “I see improvement in how they’re shooting the ball and in their discipline. They had a good shooter they seemed to feed off of.”
The Lady Tigers were at their best in the second quarter to blow the game wide open. Junge and Goebel continued to show their range with each player hitting another three, as Glen Rose completed a 16-0 run dating back to the first quarter. Goebel also blocked two shots in the quarter with six rebounds, and she had four assists in the opening half.
“Kayla always rebounds hard,” Hill said. “She realized that making the next pass was the thing to do. She did a good job, and that’s where she got those assists. We turned it up on defense and pressured them like we’re capable of.”
Gibson hit a midrange jumper and contributed a couple of Glen Rose’s 15 boards in the frame.
“Madi is very conscientious about blocking out and taking care of the boards,” Hill said. “I’m inspired watching her as a freshman with her effort.”
Shortly after she returned to the game, Sammons made a steal and knocked down a pair of free throws.
“My free throws haven’t been that good, but Coach Hill told me something I should change three practices ago and I’m doing a lot better,” Sammons said.
Despite a huge lead entering the third quarter, Glen Rose kept its collective foot on the gas with Goebel hitting a wing three and then Ponce attacking the basket for four quick points. Ponce was very efficient throughout the contest offensively.
“Destiny is getting better at reading the defense and making the proper move,” Hill said. “As the game went along, she did a good job of read and react, plus the others did a good job of feeding her the ball.”
After Glen Rose completed a 13-0 run, Rio Vista’s top shooter got the hot hand and made three threes in a row. Late in the third, Sammons concentrated to complete an and-one play and then Potter converted a pair of free throws to put Glen Rose up 59-28 through three.
“It was about making another free throw,” Sammons said of the and-one play. “I took my breath and knocked it down.”
Glen Rose had some free throw issues in its first game, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem now.
“We did a solid job at the free throw line and I know going forward that we’ll be fine there,” Hill said. “Kate got quality minutes and she works so hard when she gets in there. She has some good moves inside, she made some things happen and played hard.”
Early in the fourth, Kelly took a Rotan pass and nailed a midrange jumper.
“Kiffany looks to pass before she shoots,” Hill said. “She does so many things well on defense and first and foremost she’s a team player.”
Down the stretch, Junge stole the ball and scored on the fast break before Ashlan Bernard got the ball to Sammons for a transition layup.
“Reilly feeds off picking somebody’s pocket and going to the hole,” Hill said. “It’s part of her game.”
The Lady Tigers will now host West on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“West is a talented group and we’ll have to be ready,” Hill said.