Tiger basketball had its ups and downs offensively on Tuesday, but consistent defense brought a sound victory over the Venus Bulldogs.
Glen Rose (13-11, 2-1) pulled away in a 16-2 second quarter to win 46-22.
"Our defense was really good and that's what we've built our team around," said coach Wayne Roberts. "We were frustrated offensively early and rushed some good shots, but in the end we were very balanced (in scoring). We got the win and I thought we played well in the middle quarters. What I hope to see soon is us at full strength for a while so we can be more consistent."
Jeffrey Harris (10 PT, 4 RB, AST, 2 STL), Cody Burtscher (8 PT, 6 RB, AST, 2 STL) and Ben Coppock (8 PT, 7 RB, AST) led the way offensively in the victory. It was the first game for leading scorer Coppock in 2013, as he was out with an injury and then more recently illness.
"It was great to have Ben back and it was a mental boost for everyone," Harris said. "We knew that Venus (could be) a good team in the press, but their press didn't work out. We cut through it pretty good and got our offense going, but our defense is what's keeping us in these games. Holding them under 30 points is great and it gives us a lot of opportunity for success."
Other scorers included Colton Bretton (7 PT, 12 RB, AST, STL, BLK), Hayden Bach (7 PT, RB, 5 AST, 2 STL), Curry Mapes (3 PT, RB, AST, 2 STL), Jake Pieper (2 PT, RB, STL) and Justin Potter (1 PT).
The Tigers came out pounding the glass with 14 first-quarter rebounds, including seven by Bretton. Unfortunately, Glen Rose would only turn that rebounding dominance into an 8-4 lead. Bach drilled a three to get his night going.
"Our defense and rebounding were very good to open the game; we just didn't convert and that will be the key for us going forward," Roberts said.
In a 16-2 second quarter that put Venus on the ropes, Bretton blocked a shot and Harris snagged multiple steals. Speaking of Harris, he erupted for all 10 of his points with a free throw and a trio of three-pointers.
"I like that (corner) shot," Harris said, regarding the location of two of his threes. "I knew we needed some points and decided I had to take over and hit some threes. It's catch and shoot for me with no hesitation."
Roberts likes to see Harris rise up from long range.
"Jeffrey shoots quickly and that's when he shoots best," Roberts said. "He doesn't think about it and he's doing a good job."
Burtscher also made a three, while Coppock stepped in to take a charge. The Tigers were struggling at the free throw line, but it was inconsequential on this night.
"We need more people to (take charges) and Ben is a competitor," the coach said. "That's a good defensive play and a momentum changer. Our free throw shooting wasn't pretty. It's a mindset and we have to get that mental block out of our heads."
In a 17-9 third quarter, Bretton was back on the boards with four rebounds and he completed an and-one play. Coppock got back in the groove offensively with all eight of his points on assisted layups, as Bach assisted on two of them.
"It was great to have Ben out there, but you could tell he hasn't played since the 29th of December," Roberts said. "He got it going in the third quarter and that's the Ben we know."
Venus got more aggressive going to the hoop, which resulted in nine free throw attempts in the frame.
"I thought Venus came out more aggressive in the second half and started penetrating and getting to the free throw line," Roberts said.
Venus managed to win the fourth quarter 7-5, as Tiger subs played most of the way. Pieper was effective when he came in with a steal and then a layup off a Mapes assist.
"That was a nice cut to the basket by Pieper off a good pass for a layup," Roberts said. "I thought Curry did a good job when he was in at point guard."
The Tigers will now head to Hillsboro on Friday for an 8 p.m. contest.