GODLEY — Glen Rose wrapped up second place in District 7-4A with a 51-43 victory over Godley in the regular-season finale Tuesday night, and now the Lady Tigers are setting their sights on a deep playoff run beginning Monday night with Decatur at Weatherford.
“I’ve watched three Decatur films so far, and they present a huge challenge for us,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said.
The Lady Tigers (28-6, 5-3) have won two straight games and six of their last seven, and that one loss was a 38-32 decision to district champion Stephenville. Decutar (28-5), 4-4) finished third in District 8-4A and enters the 6 p.m. contest with the Lady Tigers on a two-game losing streak to champion Argyle and runner-up Bridgeport.
“There are three or four teams, including us and Decatur, that can get hot now and make the regional tournament,” Ghazal said. “We have the most experience in doing that from all the teams on our side of the bracket, so we just need to put a good offensive and defensive game together.”
In the win over the Lady Cats on Tuesday night, junior guard Hailey Ibarra led the Lady Tigers with 19 points. She was 8 of 10 from the foul line and knocked down a 3-pointer.
“Hailey has just played lights out,” Ghazal said. “She is averaging 20 points a game in district with teams using a box-and-1 on her. Plus, she always defends the best guard from the other team. She has performed like a district MVP and all-state player performs.”
Behind Ibarra, Collie Keller added 11, while Kora Dodson and Breanna Baker added eight each.
The Lady Tigers trailed the Lady Cats (14-21, 4-4) by a point at the half, and in the first five minutes of the third quarter, neither team built more than a three-point advantage. During that time, the game was tied or the lead changed hands seven times before a foul shot by Hannah Cantwell gave the Lady Tigers a 31-30 lead with 3:25, and it was a lead they would never relinquish.
Cantwell’s foul shot began a 6-2 run to end the quarter with the Lady Tigers leading 37-32.
Dodson drilled her only 3-pointer of the game with 3:16 left to increase the Glen Rose lead to eight at 44-36. The Lady Cats pulled within three at 44-41 with less than a minute left in the game, but the Lady Tigers hit 5 of 8 foul shots in the final minute and Dodson added a bucket to push the final tally out to nine.
“This was the first game all season that our offense carried a sluggish defensive performance,” Ghazal said. “It’s usually the other way around, so that’s a positive heading into the playoffs.”