Coming out of a very tough tournament in Bryan last week, Lady Tiger basketball was ready to roll when district play began on Friday night.
Glen Rose (16-6, 1-0) led by 33 points after three quarters in Venus and cruised to a 66-36 victory.
“I was very pleased with how we played to open district after nearly a week since our last game,” said coach Sheree Hill.
Reilly Junge (3 rebounds, assist, 4 steals) led Glen Rose with 17 points.
“We were pumped up for this game,” Junge said. “I know as seniors that we want to go out with a good (district) record. I think the tournament (in Bryan) helped because we had to play people we didn’t know anything about.”
The point guard missed some time in December with a knee injury, but she looked to be in vintage form against Venus diving on the floor for loose balls early and often.
“Coming back from injury, I have to play harder than usual because I’m not as fast as I used to be,” Junge said.
Other top scorers were Destiny Ponce (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals), Kelsey Potter (11 points, 8 rebounds, assist, 3 steals) and Kayla Goebel (9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, block).
“Whenever Destiny has good games we all feed off of it,” Junge said.
Glen Rose also received scoring from Madi Gibson (7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals), Kate Goen (7 points, rebound) and Shelby Rotan (1 point, 2 rebounds).
The game was actually tied at 2-2 midway through the first quarter before Junge hit the first of two threes in the frame. She also managed to steal the ball and complete an and-one play.
“Reilly did things well and we just expect that out of her every game,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers put together a 13-0 run on the way to winning the first quarter 18-9, as Ponce completed an and-one play and then she assisted Goen on a long jumper. Glen Rose made six baskets while being fouled in the game.
“That’s good to see we finished the shot so often in those situations,” Hill said.
The second quarter was very similar on the scoreboard, as Junge, Goebel and Gibson attacked the basket with success on consecutive hoops. With Junge pressuring the ball handler, Venus got very flustered and repeatedly turned the ball over.
“When Reilly gets up in the top of our press and starts pressuring, everyone feeds off of that,” the coach said.
Late in the half, Junge hit another three and then Goen made a pair of free throws for a 37-19 lead. Although Glen Rose struggled at the line in the second half, the Lady Tigers showed their potential before halftime in making 12 of 15 attempts.
“I’m so pleased with Kate; she goes in and does what she’s asked,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers were at their best in a 24-9 third quarter to seal the deal. Goebel led the charge with seven points, two steals and a block.
“We need to get Kayla the ball on the block more, but her outside shooting touch will come back – she just has to keep playing,” Hill said. “Good things happen when she goes to the hole hard.”
Ponce and Potter each completed and-one plays after their own steals in the quarter.
“It’s been a problem for us in the past finishing shots when we’re fouled,” Junge said. “A lot of us are really trying to finish and it’s going in.”
Hill appreciated Ponce’s performance.
“I thought Destiny worked hard the whole game and played well,” Hill said. “We talked at halftime about turning up the intensity and I thought we did.”
Goen buried a corner three late in the frame.
“Kate’s always been a good shooter, but now she’s more confident about it,” Junge said.
In the fourth, Potter scored on a putback and then Ponce caught a deep Junge pass in transition for her team’s final hoop. The Lady Tigers will now host Hillsboro on Tuesday.
“We need a good week of practice for Hillsboro and then Stephenville,” Hill said.