The Glen Rose Tigers were playing so well on Thursday night in the first half that it might not have mattered who the opponent was.
China Spring was the unfortunate victim of the Tigers (6-3), as Glen Rose led 51-13 at halftime in a 70-32 victory during the Luminant/Glen Rose Lions Club Tournament.
“Everything was in rhythm for us offensively and there was no hesitation,” said coach Wayne Roberts. “We transitioned from defense to our offense smoothly, and the guys played so well together. Ben (Coppock) had an exceptional game, but everyone played well.”
Coppock played very sparingly after halftime, yet still compiled 21 points, eight rebounds and a steal. Other double-digit scorers were Stetson Overton (11 points, rebound, 2 assists, 5 steals) and Jeffery Harris (10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists).
“We’ve been learning as a team,” Overton said. “From the Hamilton game (Tuesday) to our win over Early (Thursday), we looked a lot better against the same defense and knew where each other would be.”
Other scorers were Colton Bretton (7 points, 4 rebounds, assist, steal, 2 blocks), Hayden Bach (5 points, 2 rebounds, 9 assists), Taylor Hansen (5 points, assist), Cody Burtscher (4 points, 6 rebounds, assist, 2 steals), Curry Mapes (3 points, rebound, assist, steal), Max Albro (2 points rebound) and Colton Bumpas (2 points).
The first quarter was a flat-out clinic, as China Spring went up 3-0 and trailed 31-8 when the frame ended. Bach was setting up Tigers left and right, as he rolled up six assists in the first quarter.
“Hayden made some great passes,” Roberts said. “He had a great game and got everybody involved. He’s the one who creates that rhythm.”
Glen Rose hit five threes in the first, led by two from Overton.
“That’s the best first quarter I’ve been a part of,” Overton said. “It was falling for all of us. The defense is what made the offense work, I think. We didn’t rush our threes in this game; guys shot when they were open.”
Overton also assisted Coppock on an alley-oop layup and Coppock took a charge late in the first. Glen Rose finalized the first quarter score when Burtscher stole the ball and assisted Mapes on a wing three.
“Those (31-point quarters) are hard to come by,” Roberts said. “Everybody was having fun and our defense created our offense. Those (charges taken) are key plays on defense to stop penetration. It was a big play at the time.”
The Tigers also had one of their best quarters of the young season in the second, winning it 20-5. Coppock was an offensive rebounding machine, as he rolled up 16 points and seven rebounds at the half. He also couldn’t be stopped in transition.
“Ben is a quick leaper,” Roberts said. “He was in the flow and we wanted to ride the hot hand.”
Overton and Harris both hit threes in the quarter, and Harris kept it going for his best offensive game of the season.
“Jeffery is figuring out the varsity level and really helping us,” Roberts said.
After Glen Rose concluded a remarkable 36-5 run early in the second quarter, an Overton steal and transition layup put the Tigers up 47-11.
“When we were in the press, I just react to the ball,” Overton said. “If they think they can pass it, I try to get in front, grab it and let’s go score.”
Roberts was pleased with the senior guard.
“Stetson has a knack for the game,” the coach said. “Whether it’s steals or offensive rebounds, he’s getting a lot of things done by reacting and the benefits are showing up on the scoreboard.
“I was really worried about China Spring and I believe it’s the best team (their current coach) has had,” Roberts said. “They just hung their head as we pulled away, but they’ll be fine.”
The Tigers only won the third quarter 10-9, but the game was long since decided. Coppock made a wing three, Bretton dropped in a short bankshot and Burtscher knocked down a midrange jumper.
“You don’t want to keep pressing when you have that big of a lead; it’s just not the right thing to do,” the coach said.
China Spring took the fourth quarter 10-9, but more importantly a lot of Tigers came off the bench to get valuable minutes. Hansen set the pace with a wing three and then a layup, while Albro and Bumpas also made baskets.
“It’s good to see Taylor hit those shots, and he also made a great pass to set Max up,” Roberts said.
Overton liked what he saw as well.
“All of our guys came off the bench and produced; we have good depth right now,” he said.
The Tigers have a big matchup in the tourney semis this afternoon at 3 p.m. against Stephenville in the red gym.
“Stephenville can shoot well and has size,” Roberts said. “It should be a great game and an interesting one, too.”