After a 30-point loss to Hillsboro to open the season, the eighth grade Tiger A-team totally turned the tide at home on Thursday.
Glen Rose used a 13-6 fourth quarter to seize the lead for its first win of the season, 34-31.
“What I think helped all the kids is that Ethan Hartman got to come back (from injury) and play for this one,” coach Greg Garrison said. “They know he’s pretty good and believed this time could be different. It was a great team effort.”
Hillsboro’s Tristan Price loomed large with 18 points, but he was nearly matched by a stout showing from Matt Willis (16).
“I work with Willis a lot in the paint and it carried over,” Garrison said. “He’s come a long way.”
Other scorers were Hartman (11), Brazos Overton (4) and Seth Love (3).
As Glen Rose won the first quarter 9-8 with Willis starting fast around the basket, Love managed to drain a three.
“Love likes to shoot the three, and that was big,” Garrison said.
Each team scored 10 in the second, as Price and Willis were each on a roll for their respective teams. The Tigers lost the third quarter 7-2, and were fortunate to still be in a close game.
“We didn’t handle the pressure well in that quarter, but we bounced back,” the coach said.
The Tigers made a number of big plays in the fourth. After Overton assisted Hartman on a short jumper, Willis found Overton for a midrange jumper and a 33-31 lead with a minute left.
“Brazos really stepped up in the fourth,” Garrison said. “He’s one of our best passers along with Coleman (Garrison) and Ethan, but he also hit some big shots late. Ethan made a driving layup midway through the fourth and that seemed to charge him up to get it done.”
Hillsboro had a chance to tie with eight seconds left, but Willis stepped up to draw a charge on Price, as the Hillsboro coach was whistled for a technical and Hartman made one of the ensuing free throws to finalize the score.
“When Matt took that charge, it went a long way to sealing this win,” Garrison said. “This showed what these guys are capable of doing. Everybody played good (Thursday).”