Reporter Sports Staff
MINERAL WELLS - Before the playoffs began, Glen Rose head coach Wayne Roberts said the teams who succeed in the playoffs are the teams who have a rhythm.
Nothing says rhythm like 11 consecutive wins - nine straight to end District 7-3A, a playoff preview win over Red Oak and an 81-46 thrashing of Decatur in the Class 3A Region I area round on Thursday.
Glen Rose came out firing against the Eagles, opening up with a 15-2 run over the first 4:14.
The Tigers, who have been a second half team for most of the season, posted 25 points in the first frame while holding Decatur to 13.
The Eagles, however, showed some fight in the second quarter, putting up a 15 spot and holding the Tigers to nine.
“We quit executing and we quit hustling on defense,” said Roberts. “I felt like we played really well on the defensive end, except for that second quarter.”
Decatur went on a 7-2 run midway through the quarter to bring the score to 27-20, and followed a few minutes later with a buzzer beating tip-in to bring the tally to 34-28, the smallest Tiger lead since the opening minutes.
The second half was all Tigers.
Glen Rose opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run and never looked back.
The Tigers held the Eagles to a nine spot in both of the final two frames while tacking a combined 47 points on to their side of the scoreboard.
Ryan Bruce led the Tigers in points, posting just 12 points shy of the entire Decatur team with 34. He had 23 after halftime.
“He got a lot of his points by playing on both ends of the floor,” said Roberts. “He got a lot of steals out front that led to layups, and he hit a lot of threes in transition. When he gets in transition like that he’s pretty hard to stop. The main thing is he was able to get that because everybody else was stepping up. Colt did a great job defensively against a kid who's tough to stop. I just couldn’t be more proud of everybody.”
Despite the Eagles’ post players having a strong size advantage over the Tigers, Derek Thompson and Nathan Yeager seemed to have no issues in the paint.
Thompson tallied 10 points and six rebounds, while Yeager scored 14 points and grabbed eight boards.
“Our post play was outstanding. They did a great job,” said Roberts. “Nathan rose to the occasion. (Yeager’s) guy was very physical and probably had a couple of cheap shots on him, and it was good to see him respond and compete like he did. I just can’t say enough about him. He hit his free throws and played great defense.”
Waylon White also added nine points.
Glen Rose traveled to the Class 3A Region I quarterfinals Wednesday night where they took on No. 6 Burkburnett at Denton Guyer High School.
“Burkburnett’s been No. 2 for most of year until they got upset right at the end of district,” said Roberts before the game. “We’ll have our hands full. We can do it, we’ll just have to take of business and have really good preparation.”
For a complete update on the Tigers' playoff run, see the March 12 edition of the Glen Rose Reporter.