Facing a state-ranked team on Saturday without their top player available, the Tigers were in a tough spot.
Glen Rose (7-6) hosted Brock – the No. 6-ranked 2A team in the TABC rankings – in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer TBC Glen Rose Shootout with Ben Coppock sitting out due to injury. The Tigers did a nice job in the middle quarters to stay within single digits, but Brock owned the fourth quarter (16-0) to roll to a 64-39 win.
“At some point in the year, you’re going to be without key players,” Roberts said. “I thought we played pretty well in the second and third quarters, but you could tell we were running out of gas in the fourth. We had some inside misses and free throw misses that hurt, and then Brock exploited our mistakes when we were trying to catch up.”
The scoreless fourth quarter isn’t something Roberts is accustomed to.
“We can’t throw up a zero in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win,” he said. “I’ve never had that happen, but I guess if you coach long enough things are going to happen.”
Glen Rose scorers included Stetson Overton (8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals), Cody Burtscher (8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, block), Colton Bretton (7 points, 8 rebounds), Hayden Holder (6 points, 5 rebounds), Hayden Bach (5 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), Jeffery Harris (3 points, 3 rebounds, assist) and John Henry Powell (2 points).
Brock’s top two scorers combined for 40 points, but it had plenty of depth on the roster.
“All of their players are real skilled,” Roberts said. “You can tell they’re in the gym year round, and when you work at it as hard as they do those types of teams are very tough to beat.”
Although Overton and Burtscher each hit a three-pointer early, Glen Rose lost the first quarter 16-7. Inside misses and turnovers were the key culprits. Brock sported a versatile attack with plenty of threes and paint points.
Holder did grab four boards in the first.
“Hayden is a competitor, and he got out there and played extremely well as a sophomore,” Roberts said.
After a pair of Bretton free throws early in the second Brock went up 20-9, but Glen Rose proceeded to play its best ball during a 16-5 run for a 25-25 game. Burtscher, Overton, Harris and Bach all hit threes, while Powell capped the surge with a midrange jumper.
“Cody is improving without a doubt,” Roberts said. “He’s made the transition (from football) and is feeling more like a basketball player. Stetson has been playing well. (Bach) had a very good weekend; he’s getting better at (point guard).”
Brock scored the final five points of the half to lead 30-25, but Glen Rose started the third off strong with a Hayden Holder three and then buckets by Burtscher and Bretton.
“Colton had to battle through some foul trouble this weekend,” Roberts said.
Brock struck for a 13-0 run, scoring layups off several steals, before Glen Rose broke it up with a Bretton putback.
“Brock is extremely well-coached and they execute really well,” Roberts said. “I think their coach would tell you we give them some of their better games. (Saturday) was another one of those until the fourth quarter.”
After Glen Rose struggled to get offensive rebounds much of the way, Overton followed Bretton’s putback with his own reverse putback to end the third. Burtscher had a steal and a block late in the frame.
“Stetson saw the ball and went and got it,” Roberts said. “He anticipates well. Brock won’t allow you to get those second shots (often); it goes back to them being fundamentally sound.”
The Tigers missed a few free throws in the fourth and it was all Brock down the stretch.
“Basketball is a game of streaks, and it ended on a streak for them,” Roberts said.
The Tigers will return to action on Friday when they go to Hico for a 7:30 p.m. game.
“We still need to do a better job offensively, but we’re improving to get where we want to be,” the coach said. “We’ll be a good team to watch when (January) gets here. It will be interesting in Hico. They have a really good guard we’ll have to shut down to hopefully take care of business.”