GLEN ROSE — After Tuesday night’s 37-19 home victory over Brownwood, the Glen Rose Lady Tigers have finally dug themselves out of the 0-2 hole to open District 7-4A play.
The Lady Tigers (27-5, 3-2) used a tenacious defense in holding the Lady Lions to a season-low 19 points in notching their third straight district win and fourth consecutive victory overall to move into sole possession of second place.
“We had a stretch there after the Aggieland tournament where we lost some focus and discipline on defense,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said. “The girls have done a great job in practice of getting better at the little things which has allowed us to regain our defensive identity.”
The Lady Tigers will need that intensity to carry over to Friday night’s road game at Stephenville where they will meet the Honeybees, who are unbeaten in district play.
“Stephenville has a really good team, and they will challenge us on both ends of the court,” Ghazal said. “I’m excited to see how our kids respond to those challenges.”
The Honeybees (21-6, 5-0), who have won five straight games, won the first meeting 38-31 between the two teams on Jan. 8 in Glen Rose.
Brownwood handed the Lady Tigers their first loss of the district season with a 32-30 win Jan. 4, but Glen Rose turned the tables in their second and final meeting with the Lady Lions this season.
“The difference in this game versus the last time we played them was our discipline and energy on defense,” Ghazal said. “We consistently played hard and disciplined which took them from 32 points to 19. That’s a big deal in our scheme.”
The Lady Lions (15-14, 2-3) scored the first basket of the game, but they wouldn’t score again until a minute into the second quarter. The Lady Tigers, forced nine Brownwood turnovers in the first frame, including miscues on six consecutive possessions to build the early 10-2 lead at the end of the quarter.
Hailey Ibarra scored six of her team-high 14 points in the opening quarter, and Kora Dodson drilled a triple for three of her eight points in the game.
The Lady Tigers scored just three points in the first five minutes of the second quarter, allowing Brownwood to cut the lead to five with a bucket with 3:17 left in the half.
Breanna Baker, who finished with five points, hit one of two fouls shots, and Ibarra converted a lay-up to push the lead to six at 16-10 heading into the break.
Dodson connected on her second 3-pointer of the game to open the third quarter, and Kennedy Bunt added a bucket to up the lead to 11 with 6:02 left in the quarter.
In all, the Lady Tigers held the Lady Lions to just four points in the third quarter to push the game well out of reach in building a comfortable 27-14 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Tigers, who hit just nine of 21 foul shots in the game, outscored Brownwood 10-5 in the final quarter in earning the 18-point win.
“Our biggest area to improve is to get consistent offense for four quarters,” Ghazal said. “When we have three or four girls scoring with the defense we are playing, we can be really tough to beat.”