GLEN ROSE — The Glen Rose Lady Tigers will open the 2019-20 basketball season Friday afternoon when they host Aledo at 4:30 p.m. at Tiger Arena, and they have a great trio of seniors who have played a lot of varsity games to serve as their anchors.

“That experience means a great deal. Their leadership will be vital to our overall success,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said of seniors Hailey Ibarra, Breanna Baker and Kora Dodson. “They will be our floor generals. It’s like having coaches on the court at all times.”

Ibarra led the Lady Tigers at 13.7 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists. Baker averaged 7.9 points, a team-best 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists, while Dodson added 5.5 points and 3.6 rebounds.

A group of talented freshmen and sophomores saw a lot of playing time last year, and now they have a year under their belts and will key in supporting roles for the Lady Tigers.

“Abby Stephenson, Hannah Cantwell, Jeana Douglas, Hazel Hawkins went through some growing pains that a young team will go through, but we are much better this year for that experience,” Ghazal said. “Alexis Mims and Lindsey Andress were mainstays on our JV last year who will also be a huge lift to our varsity this year.”

The solid group of seniors along with a talented group of younger players is the perfect recipe for success.

“We will have a deeper and experienced team this year than I’ve had in my four years,” Ghazal said. “We want to use that depth to play at a faster tempo and really try to wear our opponents down.  Our girls have really pushed themselves on conditioning which could make for some exciting pace.”

The Lady Tigers finished 29-7 overall last year, and finished second in district play with a 5-3 mark. They suffered a first-round exit from the playoffs with a loss to Decatur.  

“Our district and bi-district is still very tough,” Ghazal said. “We didn’t graduate a lot, but neither did those teams as well. Argyle is No. 1, Decatur is No. 10, Stephenville is No. 14, and we are No. 15.  Bridgeport and Brownwood will both be ranked before too long, so that makes six teams that are state title contenders if they can make it to the regional tournament. It’s a tough task, but we are up for the fight.”