GATESVILLE—Take a hostile crowd, an unfriendly rim, foul trouble and a top team from District 7-3A and match it up against the Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers.
What do you get?
Unfortunately for the Tigers, it was a 73-56 loss in the District 7-3A opener on Friday in Gatesville.
“If we’re gonna play the best team in the district, we want to play them on road the first time,” said Glen Rose head coach Wayne Roberts. “Both of us would have rather started off with someone else.”
Things started off in favor of the Hornets, as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead right off the bat.
Glen Rose reeled off five straight to bring it to 7-5, but Gatesville would get the better of the Tigers in the first quarter, 12-9.
After Waylon White knocked down a first quarter three-pointer to cap off that 5-0 run, Glen Rose went on to miss its next 10 shots from beyond the arc to finish out the first half.
“That’s a big key for us,” said Roberts. “When we lose, it’s usually because we didn’t shoot the ball well and we didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half. We did force a few (Friday).”
Gatesville did the majority of its damage in the second quarter when the Hornets tacked on 20 points and held the Tigers to seven.
At halftime, the Tigers trailed 32-16, hit on only 1-11 from the three-point line, were dealing with Derek Thompson’s foul troubles and listened to the Gatesville fans chant “overrated” and “travel safely.”
“I think they played extremely well, especially in the first half,” said Roberts of the Hornets. “I think we got some things accomplished in the second half. But when we only score 16 points in the first half, there are a lot of things done wrong offensively.”
In the second half, Glen Rose came to play.
After starting 0-3 from beyond the arc, White struck again from downtown, and then conflict struck.
Nathan Yeager committed a foul on a Hornet three-point shooter that was mistakenly called on Thompson, which led to him almost being ejected with just over five minutes to play in the third quarter.
This was the beginning of a very physical third frame. The two teams combined for 18 fouls in the third quarter alone.
However, between foul calls, there was still a game being played. Following White’s attempt, the rest of the team found a three-point rhythm. Ryan Bruce struck from downtown and Jorge Espino connected on two treys off the bench.
Gatesville only outscored the Tigers 19-18 in the third period.
Glen Rose stayed even with the Hornets in the final frame at 22-22, also going a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe.
Early on in the quarter, Glen Rose lost Thompson to fouls. Thompson was followed immediately to the bench by Espino, and later by Bruce.
“It was a physical ball game and we were having to be aggressive,” said Roberts.
Bruce finished the contest with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Thompson tallied four points and five boards in his limited action.
Yeager was the only other Tiger to crack double digits with 10.
White and Espino tallied six points each, while Ty Taylor rounded out the scoring with five.
The Tigers finished the game 7-28 from beyond the arc, but ultimately it was the second quarter that spelled doom for Glen Rose.
“We missed a lot of assignments and we can’t do that,” said Roberts. “There were a lot of role players for them that were hurting us. They have one guy who we know is going to score some points, and we can accept that, but we have to be able to control the rest of them. These guys are a top 10 team in the state, even though they’re not ranked,” said Roberts. “They lost some games early and lost some credibility, but they’ve got it together now and they’re going to be someone to contend with in Region I.”
Glen Rose traveled to China Spring on Tuesday and hosts Hillsboro on Friday.