Coach Wayne Roberts is quick to say that Hillsboro makes for a difficult road trip, but the Tigers rode a couple of strong individual showings past the hosts on Friday night.
Glen Rose (14-11, 3-1) outscored Hillsboro 35-19 in the middle quarters on the way to a 54-39 victory. Halfway through the district schedule, Glen Rose stands second in the 7-3A race.
"We started off very slow; Jeffrey (Harris) hit a big three to end the first quarter and get the momentum going," said coach Wayne Roberts. "Our middle two quarters have been really good the last couple of games, as has our defense. We didn't know a lot about (Hillsboro), and a couple of their guys really played well. It was a good win because it's tough to play over here."
In just his second game back after missing nearly a month due to injury and then illness, Ben Coppock matched his career high with 26 points in addition to nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Point guard Hayden Bach made a huge impact while scoring just one point, thanks to 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
"I really didn't expect to play this well in my second game back, but hopefully this game gets me jumpstarted and our team chemistry flowing for a big game on Tuesday against Stephenville," Coppock said.
Other scorers included Colton Bretton (9 PT, 3 RB, 2 STL), Cody Burtscher (7 PT, 3 RB, 2 AST, 2 BLK), Jeffrey Harris (6 PT, 4 RB, STL), Stetson Overton (3 PT, 2 RB, AST, 2 STL) and Colton Bumpas (2 PT, RB).
Harris was the main man in the first quarter, as he completed an and-one play off a Burtscher assist and later nailed the aforementioned three at the buzzer via a Bach pass for an 8-5 lead. Coppock and Burtscher both blocked shots in the opening moments.
"Jeffrey has been playing well," Roberts said.
As Glen Rose took control with a 16-8 second quarter, Bach really began to share with four dimes. Three of them went to Coppock, who went on a tear in the frame with four rebounds and 12 points - including a contested reverse layup.
"I really like the reverse sometimes and it was the right time for it there," Coppock said. "Hayden is always a good passer. He sees the floor really well and likes to hit guys on the run."
Roberts enjoyed seeing Coppock take over.
"Ben is getting healthy and it was great to see him play like that," the coach said. "Our defense was really solid - especially in the first half - and when our offense gets going we're a pretty good team."
Glen Rose continued to soar in a 19-11 third quarter, as Bach came up with four assists once again. He also repeated the feat of three to Coppock - including one on a successful and-one play.
"Hayden has been playing well and we need him to keep it up," Roberts said.
Burtscher drained two threes in the quarter and blocked another shot.
"It seems like we're always playing well when Cody is hitting," Coppock said. "He gets momentum going and we ride it all the way through."
Bretton had five points in the third, as his height advantage proved helpful in the paint.
"Colton has given us some good post play lately and it makes us a better team," Roberts said.
While Hillsboro would win the fourth 15-11, the important thing for the Tigers was a number of bench players logging valuable minutes. Unfortunately, Glen Rose missed 11 free throws in the fourth alone.
"We have got to make free throws," Roberts said. "I think we could get some Little Dribblers teams to make a higher percentage than we are right now. It's in our head; 60 percent from the free throw line isn't asking too much."
On a brighter note, the closing moments saw Taylor Hansen block a shot and then Justin Potter assisted Bumpas on a midrange jumper before making a steal.
"(Bumpas) just has to play with confidence and I thought that was a big bucket to finish things off," Roberts said.
The Tigers will have quite a challenge on their hands at home on Tuesday night when Stephenville – No. 8 in the TABC 3A rankings – comes calling.
"That's a huge game and we'll have to be at our best in front of a good crowd," Roberts said. "Hopefully, we can give them a run for their money."