The Lady Tigers have played some good games early on this season, but Friday morning’s effort against Bangs in the Dublin Athletic Booster Club Tournament may have taken the cake.
Glen Rose (7-0), which is No. 19 in the TABC 3A state rankings, totally dominated the final three quarters to blast Bangs 64-31 and advance to the tourney title game on Saturday.
“I thought we played well; I don’t have any complaints,” said coach Sheree Hill. “It was a real good overall effort from every player, especially for an early morning game.”
Kelsey Potter approached a triple-double with 10 points, eight rebounds, one assist and eight steals.
“We all played as a team and got a lot of playing time,” Potter said. “I think we all worked together pretty well and passed the ball around. I think that’s a good game for me this season; I’m excited about that.”
Despite missing nearly a quarter’s worth of action in the second half with an ankle sprain, Kayla Goebel returned to the court and delivered 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block.
“We didn’t really play good against Tolar, so we were all focused on keeping up our winning streak by playing a lot harder than we did (Thursday),” Goebel said. “Normally we don’t play good in the early morning. I was going to ice my ankle, but Coach (Hill) said if I took my shoe off it probably wouldn’t go back on. So I just stuck it out.”
It was a true group effort, as every player on the team scored at least three points. The remaining Lady Tigers to put up stats were Reilly Junge (12 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals), Kiffany Kelly (8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, block), Destiny Ponce (8 points, 2 rebounds, assist, 2 steals), Madi Gibson (3 points, 5 rebounds), Ashlan Bernard (3 points, 2 steals), Kate Goen (3 points, 2 steals) and Shelby Rotan (3 points, assist).
Ponce came out strong in the first quarter, driving to the hoop for four early points while Junge and Kelly assisted each other on baskets. Bangs was sporting solid midrange shooting, however, to lead 9-8 late in the quarter.
“Destiny always attacks the basket; she did great,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers finished the quarter strong, as Potter hit a pair of free throws and then Goebel scored in transition after a steal (12-9).
“We talked about finishing quarters the right way,” Hill said. “That was a good little run.”
That finish to the quarter actually began an 8-0 run extending into the second. Bookending a pair of Potter steals, Gibson and Ponce each made two free throws to help Glen Rose start 6-6 at the line.
“I just tried to figure out what they were going to do with the ball and make the steal,” Potter said of her exceptional display of theft in the ballgame.
Hill appreciated the solid free throw shooting.
“Anytime we put a free throw in a hole we celebrate,” the coach quipped. “We’re focused on the fact that we have to get better at that, and it was a better job (Friday).”
Goebel soon scored in transition again off her own steal.
“We talked about our favorite offense being layups off the press, and Kayla was on the backside of it reading and stealing passes to go to the hole,” Hill said.
After Goebel assisted Ponce on a layup, Ponce returned the favor for Goebel to drain a three and complete an 11-0 run (27-11). She was one of four players to make a three.
“We knew what we had to do to get our fast breaks open against their defense,” Goebel said. “We’ve been working in practice where we had to put a lot of arch on the ball to make threes, so I guess that really helped.”
Goebel attacked the basket late in the half to help Glen Rose lead 31-19 heading to the locker room.
Early in the third, Kelly scored on a putback for the third time.
“Kiffany did a great job on the offensive boards,” Hill said.
Junge scored on a layup off her steal, made a three and assisted both Rotan and Bernard on threes.
“We want to have a lot of different people hitting threes,” Hill said. “Ashlan stepped up and played very well, especially in the press and setting up our offense.”
The Lady Tigers headed to the fourth up 47-28, and early in the quarter Goen scored in transition off a steal.
“Kate did a good job when she was in there,” Hill said. “Madi continues to rebound hard and do some other things well.”
Potter continued to hound Bangs ball handlers, as she made yet another steal and scored on the fast break.
“Kelsey was very aggressive,” Hill said. “Our press was working very well.”
On a play that completed a 17-0 run dating back to the third, Potter stole the ball and assisted Junge on an and-one play the senior completed.
“That’s what we want to do,” Hill said of the big runs in the game. “When we subbed, we didn’t have a letdown. (New) kids would go out on the floor and keep up the same momentum.”
After Goebel assisted Junge on a fast-break hoop, Goebel attacked the basket and delivered an and-one play of her own.
“We finished strong and that’s something we’ll continue to work on,” Hill said.
Coach and player alike believe in the potential of this team.
“I think this win should give us a lot of confidence,” Potter said. “We want to win this tournament and win all of our games.”
“We’re really working hard to win this tournament because we haven’t won it since I’ve been in high school,” Goebel added. “It would be really awesome.”
The Lady Tigers will return to Dublin on Saturday at 6 p.m. in their quest to win the tourney.
“I think another performance like this will win us the tournament, but we have to be ready and not assume anything,” Hill said.