GLEN ROSE — Glen Rose basketball coach Owen Clifton likes where the Runnin’ Tigers sit in the district standings with three games to go.
“We control our destiny,” he said. “If we win out, we’ll get first. We have to at least secure second, and that comes by beating Godley.”
Following their 52-39 victory over Mineral Wells on Tuesday night at Tiger Arena, the Tigers are 4-1 in district play, and are just one OT loss to Brownwood away from being alone in first.
The Tigers currently hold a one-game lead over Stephenville and a two-game lead over Godley. Glen Rose beat the Yellowjackets 64-58 in OT last week, and they beat Godley 48-40 on Jan. 18.
Clifton is hoping, however, that his team’s inability to put opponents away when it holds big leads doesn’t come back to bite it down the stretch. In their last three games, the Tigers dropped an OT decision, squeezed out a win in OT and won by 13 when, in fact, they should have won by at least 20.
“I told the kids that I hope this isn’t a fool’s gold win,” he said. “If we learn to play four full quarters no matter who we are playing, that’s great, but if we don’t learn from it, it may have been better that we had lost. We need to learn from it.”
The Tigers have a bye on Friday before meeting Godley at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“We’ll use the time to refocus and sharpen up and get ready for Godley,” Clifton said. “We’ll get refocused and get back after it.”
In the win over the Rams, the Tigers were never really threatened after taking a 13-7 first-quarter lead on a 3-pointer by Jett Gould, who finished with a game-high 19 points.
The Rams (3-26, 0-5) whittled the Tiger lead down to four at 23-19 with 5:48 left in the second quarter, but that was as close as they would get.
Glen Rose led 32-24 at the break, and the Tigers held the Rams to just four second-half field goals, and the Rams hit just 7-of-18 second-half foul shots (finished just 12 of 26 from the line in the game).
Playing with the lead, the Tigers had just two second-half baskets, but they connected on 16 of 23 second-half foul shots.
Behind Gould, Kanyon Keese added nine points (6 of 6 from the line) and Austin Worthen added eight.
“I thought we played well in the first quarter with a 10-point lead because we’re getting after it,” Clifton said. “We get that lead and then we don’t get after it anymore.”
In the OT win at Stephenville last Friday, the Tigers led 37-36 heading in the final quarter only to see the Yellowjackets tie the score at 53-53 and send the game into overtime.
The Tigers hit just 5 of 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter, and aside from Gould’s 3-pointer in OT, the Tigers went just 8 of 16 from the line in OT to hold on for the six-point win.
Gould paced the Tigers with 17 points and Kolton Mooney added 15. Both players knocked down three 3-pointers apiece. Keese finished with nine points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter.