MINERAL WELLS — Early in the second quarter of Friday’s District 7-4A season opener, the Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers found themselves down 14 to a three-win Mineral Wells team.

In the final three quarters, however, the Runnin’ Tigers fought their way back to pick up the much-needed 63-58 road victory.

“The kids know what they are capable of, and this group is just young enough to believe they can climb back into any game,” Glen Rose boys basketball coach Owen Clifton said. 

The Tigers managed to trim the Rams’ lead in half at 31-24 by halftime, and then Glen Rose turned up the pressure defensively in the third quarter to take the lead and build an 18-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

Glen Rose scored the first six points of the third quarter to cut the lead to one, and after Mineral Wells scored its only bucket of the quarter to lead 33-30 at the 6:23 mark, the Tigers went on a 21-0 run to build the big lead going into the fourth quarter.

In all, the Tigers held the Rams to 1 of 10 shooting from the field and forced 15 turnovers. 

The Rams made things interesting in the fourth quarter by trimming the lead down to one point on two occasions in the final 2:08 of the game. The last came at 59-58 on a foul shot with 31.3 left.

Kanyon KanKeese led the Tigers with 15 points, while Jett Gould added 12 with 11 of those coming in Glen Rose’s big third quarter, and Kolton Mooney added 11. 

The Tigers connected on 12 3-pointers with three each coming from Matthew Hammonds and Mooney, and Keese added two. 

With the win, the Tigers, who are 2-6 in their last eight games, improve to 13-13 overall and 1-0 in district play. They had a bye on Tuesday before hosting Godley (10-12, 0-1) on Friday night at Tiger Arena.

“It’s good for us to start 1-0,” Clifton said. “It’s great to see the kids find a way to win. It really sets the tone for us and what we need to accomplish.”

Against the Rams, the Tigers fell behind by five midway through the first quarter before Keese started a 7-2 run with a 3-pointer, followed by a 3-ball from Gould and a foul shot by Keese to tie the score at 10-10.

The Rams answered with a 9-0 run to end the quarter up 19-10, and ballooned it to 14 at 24-10 midway through the second quarter. 

Mooney knocked down a triple and hit two foul shots to open up the Tigers’ mini-run down the stretch to cut the Mineral Wells lead to seven at the half. 

That was the game for us,” Clifton said of the 3-pointers. “It showed us how we can play when we are focused and doing our job. It’s always good to see it come back. It allowed us to climb back in the game.”