GLEN ROSE — Glen Rose junior guard Austin Worthen hit a deep 3-pointer from the corner as time expired Tuesday night to lift the Tigers to a 56-53 victory over DeLeon at Tiger Arena.
Worthen, who finished with a team-high 19 points in the game, torched the Bearcats for 14 points in the fourth quarter alone, and it was fitting that the final shot ended up in his hands.
“Austin was not the first option but for sure was an option. We wanted the ball to go to Greto (Greghi) and drive baseline and if he was open to hit the shot in the paint,” Glen Rose basketball coach Owen Clifton said. “If not, we thought Austin would have the corner wide open. Greto made the correct read and (Kolton) Mooney made the right pass to the hot hand.”
With the win, the Tigers are now two games below .500 (12-14) with two more games before opening district play. They will host Hillsboro in the back end of a doubleheader with the Lady Tigers on Friday night at Tiger Arena. Game will begin around 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers came back from a pair of huge second-half deficits to put them in the position to snap their five-game losing streak. They were down 15 with five minutes to go in the third quarter, and 10 with 2:54 left in the game.
“It was a big win to give us some confidence,” Clifton said. “DeLeon will be a tough out for someone down the road. I really didn’t like the last two games that we had lost, so it was nice to not continue that trend.”
The Tigers trailed by five at the half at 23-18, but they didn’t score for the first 3:30 of the quarter, allowing DeLeon to balloon the lead to 33-18. Over a three-minute stretch in the quarter, the Tigers got back in the game with 16-2 run, fueled in part by back-to-back 3-pointers from Worthen and Mason Daniels and seven straight points by Greghi. A layup by Cody Morton cut the lead to one at 35-34 with less than a minute left in the quarter.
Glen Rose trailed 36-34 heading in the final quarter, and Worthen gave the Tigers their first lead of the game since late in the second quarter with the first of his three 3-pointers in the quarter to open the stanza.
Leading 42-40, DeLeon went in an 9-1 run to take what appeared to be a commanding lead at 51-41 with less than three minutes to go. Worthen then scored eight of the Tigers’ next 11 points, and Kanyon Keese’s steal and layup whittled the lead to one with just under two minutes to play.
Greghi, who finished with 11 points in the game, tied the score at 53-53 with less than a minute to play. DeLeon missed a 3-pointer and the Tigers grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 10.3 seconds left before Worthen drained the game-winner.
“I’m very proud of the heart,” Clifton said. “They never quit, and we do that a lot with fighting back, and it was nice to get over the hump and win one of those comebacks.”
The Tigers entered the game with DeLeon after dropping 5 of 6 games in the Glen Rose Holiday Tournament. They opened the tournament last Thursday with a 62-28 win over Pantego Christian, but they wouldn’t get in the win column the rest of the tournament in suffering setbacks to El Paso El Dorado (51-46), Odessa (74-57), Waxahachie Life (73-54), Hyde Park (57-49) and Slidell (56-31).