GLEN ROSE — With two freshmen and a sophomore seeing considerable minutes during the 2017-18 season, the Glen Rose boys basketball team took its fair share of lumps.

The Tigers finished the year 11-23 and 4-8 in district play, but after suffering through a nine-game losing streak midway through the year, the Tigers began playing their best basketball. They won four of their last nine games and still had a chance at making the playoffs heading into their last district game of the season.

“My guards grew up and were getting accustomed to the speed of the varsity game,” Glen Rose boys basketball coach Owen Clifton said. 

Now, his team is a year older and more experienced heading into the 2018-19 season that gets underway Tuesday when the Tigers host Lampasas at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Arena. 

“I saw a lot of growth during the district season and even more during the summer,” Clifton said. “I am very excited for this year’s team. We will still be pretty young, but we got a lot of valuable experience last year.”

The Tigers return guards Austin Worthen (6.2 points per game), Kolton Mooney (6.6 ppg) and Kasen Keese (7.6 ppg), while Jett Gould (5.4 ppg) returns at the forward position. 

“We have played a lot since the season ended last year and we have seen these four hungry and putting in a lot of work,” Clifton said. “Our understanding of the speed and movement of the game has gotten so much better.”

Glen Rose was one game out of the playoffs last season, but with a new district consisting of Mineral Wells (7-22), Brownwood (20-11), Godley (18-13) and Stephenville (14-16), the Tigers are looking to make it back to the playoffs this year.

“I am expecting to compete for district this year,” Clifton said. “These boys have put in a ton of work this summer and I’m looking forward to seeing the rewards for them.”

Glen Rose averaged 39.5 points per game in 12 district contests, but Clifton is expecting that number to climb this year with the Tigers’ style of play.

“We will want to play faster than we have in the past few years on the offensive end, and we will be trapping more on defense this year,” he said. 

In all, the Tigers will play their first five games at home. Following the season-opener with Lampasas, the Tigers will host Springtown (Nov. 16), Whitney (Nov. 19), Huckabay (Nov. 20) and Tolar (Nov. 27) before competing in the Millsap Tournament (Nov.30-Dec.2).

Glen Rose will host the Glen Rose Lions Club Tournament Dec. 6-8. 

The Tigers will open district play Jan. 11 when they travel to Mineral Wells, and they’ll open the home portion of district play Jan. 18 when they host Godley.