GLEN ROSE — The Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers concluded the nonconference portion of their schedule Monday night with a 57-55 home loss to Alvarado, but the good thing is the Tigers can start with a clean slate when they travel to Mineral Wells on Friday for the District 7-4A opener.
The Tigers (12-14) enter the game having lost seven of their last eight, including three by six points or less, dating back to Dec. 13. The lone win was a 53-50 come-from-behind victory over Clyde on New Year’s Day.
“We are improving, but it is always tough to lose a close one,” Glen Rose boys basketball coach Owen Clifton said. “It has been good to see us play closer to four quarters the last two games.”
Glen Rose only trailed one time at 4-2 in the first 23 minutes of the game before the Indians took a two-point lead at 46-44 with a bucket late in the third quarter.
The Tigers held the Indians scoreless for nearly four minutes to open the fourth quarter, while a foul shot by Kanyon Keese, a layup by Kolton Mooney and a foul shot by Matthews Hammonds gave the Tigers a 48-46 lead with 5:37 left in the game.
Mooney drilled a 3-pointer with 4:23 left to increase the lead to 51-47. After Alvarado tied the score at 53-53 with 3:25 left, the game was tied only one more time at 54-54 with a minute to play.
The Tigers trailed by two points and had the ball under their basket with three seconds left, but they turned the ball over without getting a shot off in suffering the two-point setback.
“I felt good about the call but not good about the execution,” Clifton said. “We did not execute the play well, and it’s probably my fault trying to throw a lob that we haven’t practiced before.”
Glen Rose led by as many as five times on multiple occasions in the first half, and eventually took a four-point lead into the locker room thanks to a 3-pointer by Jett Gould to make it 31-27 at the break.
Mooney scored the Tigers’ first nine points of the second half with two 3-pointers and a three-point play with four minutes left in the quarter to give the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 40-31.
Alvarado answered with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to two with three minutes left in the quarter. Gould hit a foul shot with two minutes left to pad the Tiger lead to 44-40, but they wouldn’t score again the remainder of the quarter to trail by two heading into the final quarter.
“We are doing a much better job about our turnovers over the last two games. I would love to keep cutting those in half, but the story was the offensive glass,” Clifton said. “We struggled to secure defensive rebounds especially off of free throws.”
Mooney led the Tigers with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and Gould added 12, while Austin Worthen chipped in with 10, thanks to three 3-pointers.
“Even though it is not showing on the wins and loss column we all as a team feel good about our progress so far,” Clifton said. “We are getting better and we are encouraged by that. I have been apart of some teams that go the wrong way at this point in the season, so I feel like we are close to turning the corner.”