Lady Tiger basketball had quite a challenge on its collective hands Friday in Bryan at the McDonald’s All-Star Invitational.
Glen Rose (15-6) had to face Mexia, No. 4 in the 3A TABC rankings, and then take on Franklin, the No. 10 team in the 2A TABC rankings.
The Lady Tigers were pretty competitive with Mexia for the most part, but Glen Rose was outscored by 10 in the second quarter and trailed substantially the rest of the way in a 70-49 loss.
“(Mexia was) very quick and we couldn’t keep them from getting to the glass,” said coach Sheree Hill. “They could get to the hole and hit from the outside. We slowed them down; we just couldn’t stop them.
“We didn’t play badly offensively. That was by far the best team we’ve played this year – a very talented group.”
The top scorers for Glen Rose were Kayla Goebel (15) and Kelsey Potter (11).
“Kayla was in some foul trouble, and so was Reilly (Junge with four fouls early in the second half),” Hill said. “Kayla did a good job and got to the free throw line quite a bit. She and Potter both attacked the basket and didn’t play scared.
“Kelsey is doing a great job; sometimes I forget how young she is. She rebounds so hard and plays so aggressively. She does a good job of making cuts and flashing to the basket; she just has good instincts and can play every position for us.”
Other prime scorers were Madi Gibson (7), Junge (5) and Destiny Ponce (5).
“Madi hit a corner three, but she also mixed it up under the basket for some offensive boards,” Hill said. “She keeps getting better.”
Glen Rose was within six late in the first half, but Mexia went on a run to lead 40-25.
“At the end of the first quarter it was 14-19, and we were holding our own,” Hill said. “I didn’t think we executed on offense very well, but part of that was due to their pressure. We started going to the hole and made a little run, but then we got into some foul trouble and they had a quick run to build a big halftime lead.”
Glen Rose kept battling and tied 14-14 in the fourth quarter.
“This was great for us,” Hill said. “We need to play teams like that to make us better.”
Several hours later, the Lady Tigers returned to action against Franklin. Glen Rose took the opening quarter 14-8, but Franklin managed to win each of the next three and take the game 65-60. Goebel was missed, as she was out for roughly half the game due to an ankle injury.
“We struggled at times with their quickness,” said assistant coach Robbie Gibson. “Losing Kayla due to injury for about half the game was a factor, but we held our own. We just got out of our game at times.”
Top scorers were Junge (17), Potter (12) and Ponce (9).
“Reilly showed good leadership on the floor and I think she’ll carry that on into district,” Gibson said. “Potter is so strong. She’s getting to the hole, getting on the boards and just being more of a factor in the game than she has been before.”
Other notable scorers were Madi Gibson (6), Goebel (6) and Madison Morrow (5).
“Kayla went out with an ankle injury in the second quarter and sat out until late in the third,” Gibson said. “I think she’ll be okay for next week. Madison (Morrow) got on the boards more in this game and had her feet under her when she put shots back up, which was good to see from her.”
Franklin led by two after three quarters, and then won the fourth quarter 18-15.
“They hit a few threes in the fourth quarter to build a little lead,” the coach said.
Glen Rose will return to action on Friday when it opens district play in Venus at 7:30 p.m.
“This tournament was good to help us stay in shape over the holidays,” Gibson said. “Going into district, we’ve seen some things we need to clean up.”