GODLEY — It’s been a decade since the Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers have won a district championship, and Tuesday’s 51-43 road victory over Godley put the Tigers in position to get that elusive district crown with just two games remaining in the season.
With the win over the Wildcats, the Tigers improve to 16-14 overall and 5-1 in district play, and Friday, they travel to Brownwood with first place on the line.
“We just want to have a great two days of practice and be locked in on our assignments,” Glen Rose basketball coach Owen Clifton said in preparation for the game with the Lions. “It has been a while since Glen Rose has had a district title in boys basketball. Winning Friday would give us a share of the lead with one game to go.”
The Tigers dropped a 64-61 OT thriller to the Lions on Jan. 22 in Glen Rose. Brownwood is 6-0 in district play after beating Mineral Wells 81-51. The Lions (20-9) have won 13 straight games heading into the showdown with the Tigers.
In the win over the Wildcats (12-16, 2-4), Austin Worthen paced the Tigers with 17 points, while Jett Gould added 12 and Brady Taylor chipped in eight for the Tigers, who have won three straight games and five of their last six.
“I thought we played pretty well, and it is always nice to get a district win,” Clifton said. “The boys are learning how to win ball games in different ways. They were able to press the gas when they needed to.”
The Tigers saw their 13-point second-half lead shrink to with three with just over two minutes left in the game, but they answered with an 8-3 run down the stretch to put the game away.
Brady Taylor started the run with a bucket with 2:14 left in the game, and Collin Dunson increased the lead to five with a hoop moments later. In the final minute, Gould knocked down a pair of foul shots and Worthen scored a bucket to keep the Wildcats at bay.
“I thought we turned it over a little too much in the third quarter, but I felt we shot the ball pretty well in that quarter,” Clifton said.
Glen Rose led by seven at the half and ballooned it to 13 points late the third quarter before holding a nine-point edge going into the final quarter. In close to eight minutes of play spanning the last of the third and the first half the fourth quarter, the Tigers managed just seven points, allowing the Wildcats to cut the lead to three before GR pulled away.
For the game, the Tigers hit seven 3-pointers (four by Worthen) and hit just 10 of 16 foul shots, while the Wildcats connected on two 3-points and 11 of 19 fouls shots, including 7 of 11 in the fourth quarter.