Through 16 games, the third-ranked Glen Rose Lady Tigers have lost just one basketball game, and head coach Ramsey Ghazal credits their glossy record and state ranking to the defense.

“This team has established an identity that has gotten us to 15-1 on the season, and that identity is playing tough and relentless defense,” he said. “We now need to find an offensive identity to match our defensive one to make us a complete team.”

In their 48-13 victory over Hico on Tuesday night at Tiger Arena, the Lady Tigers held the visiting Lady Tigers scoreless in the third quarter, and that hasn’t been uncommon for the Lady Tigers. 

Dating back to the championship game of the Hillsboro Tournament when the Lady Tigers held Everman scoreless in the final 12 minutes, they have allowed just 13 points in their last 44 minutes of action.

“The great thing is when you play defense the way that these girls are playing, that keeps them in every game, and it led us to the Hillsboro title,” Ghazal said. “This team goes on defensive runs where they don’t let the opponents score for over a quarter. That’s really impressive.”

In the win over Hico, Hailey Ibarra led a balanced GRHS scoring attack with 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting. Collie Keller finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and Kora Dodson added 10 points and five rebounds. 

The Lady Tigers led 11-4 at the end of the first quarter, but stretched the lead to 29-8 at the break. Six of Ibarra’s eight points in the quarter came from 3-point range, while Dodson and Hazel Hawkins also hit from beyond the arc.

Ibarra scored eight of the Lady Tigers’ 10 third-quarter points, while Keller scored seven of her 11 in the fourth. 

The Lady Tigers shot 35 percent from the field for the game, including 26.7 percent (4-15) on 3-pointers. 

The Lady Tigers play two of their next three games before the Christmas break on the road beginning Friday at Lorena followed by a home contest on Monday with No. 15 Midlothian Heritage. Then then they will travel to Venus on Dec. 21. 

At the Hillsboro Tournament, Ibarra was named the Most Valuable Player and Dodson and Breanna Baker were named to the all-tournament team.

The Lady Tigers opened with a 57-21 victory over host Hillsboro and then posted wins over Waco La Vega (35-11) and Corsicana (44-27) to earn a meeting with Everman in the final.

The Lady Tigers trailed 27-21 midway through the third quarter of the championship game, but they held Everman scoreless the rest of the way in posting the 39-27 win.