GLEN ROSE – Every once in a while, a player will takeover a basketball game and almost literally will his or her team to victory. That player showed up in Tuesday’s 2015-16 season finale. Unfortunately, she was donning a green-and-white-Rio Vista jersey.
The Lady Tigers were relentless both with driving to the basket and their defensive pressure following a sluggish opening quarter. But it was Rio Vista’s Kailey Reese who played outside of her mind for all four quarters. The junior – who was a non-factor in Glen Rose’s 55-37 win on Jan. 15 – turned in a 32-point performance in the 51-44 win on Glen Rose’s “Parents Night.”
Laiken McAnear’s jumper from the free throw line took a Glen Rose bounce and put the Lady Tigers on the board first. Rio Vista then scored the next seven points during a three-minute Glen Rose scoring drought.
Ally Andress’ two points in the paint briefly ended the Lady Eagles run and, after four more Rio Vista points, Jaylan Evan’s drained a three with 34 ticks on the clock that pulled the Lady Tigers within four.
But Rio Vista knocked down its second three of the quarter on its ensuing possession and took a 14-7 lead into the second quarter.
The Lady Eagles held a 12-10 advantage after eight-full minutes in previous meeting, before the Lady Tigers finished on a 45-25 run over the final three quarters.
A repeat run never manifested.
Two tough Andress layups and a free throw accounted for the Lady Tigers’ only points over the first four minutes of the second quarter. Reese and the Rio Vista offense continued to churn as the Lady Tigers fell into a 13-point hole with just over two minutes to play in the opening half.
A second consecutive Andress and-one conversion and a McAnear jumper from 16 inches inside the three-point line pulled the Lady Tigers back within single digits with 1:12 on the clock.
The 25-19 lead Rio Vista limped into the locker room with – behind 20 points from Reese – was gone less than three minutes into the third quarter.
Glen Rose drove the basket on four-straight possessions and Evans’ layup on the fourth tied the game at 25 with 5:11 to play in the third quarter.
Thanks to three fast-break layups, Rio Vista put together a 10-5 run over the next five minutes. But another Evans layup just before the buzzer slowed the reeling Lady Tigers and cut the Lady Eagles lead to three, 35-32 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
Free throws were plentiful during the first half of the fourth quarter and Glen Rose’s aggressiveness turned into fouls rather quickly. With Rio Vista holding a seven-point lead, Grace reeled off four-straight points to pull the Lady Tigers back within a single possession, 42-39 as the clock dipped under four minutes.
McAnear forced a Rio Vista ball handler into a backcourt violation with the Lady Tigers down by four and 1:43 to play in regulation, but Glen Rose was unable to turn the turnover into points.
Reese added two more to her game-high 32 points following a 33rd Glen Rose turnover.
Presley Grace got a free throw to go and nearly had a layup fall after it rolled around the rim twice with 32.6 seconds remaining in the season.
Despite the 51-44 final, there is no questioning (10-19, 4-9) Glen Rose’s resilience.
Andress nearly turned in a carbon copy of her previous performance against the Lady Eagles. The 23 points on matched her previous team-high, while her seven rebounds and nine free throws were also team-highs.
The blossoming-backcourt duo of Evans and McAnear tallied seven points, each. Evans also posted a team-high five assists and added three steals. Grace scored six points and Sydney Lozier rounded out the scoring with one.
A season recap will be included in next week’s Reporter.