After a first-round district meeting where nothing seemed to go right, a healthier Glen Rose Tiger basketball team represented itself much better when state-ranked Stephenville came to town on Tuesday night.
The Tigers (14-12, 3-2) won both the third and fourth quarters on the way to a 54-48 loss to Stephenville Ė the No. 7 team in the TABC 3A ranks. Glen Rose lost the previous meeting by 41.
"I have no complaints with our kids," coach Wayne Roberts said. "We had a poor defensive stretch for a few minutes in the second quarter and it came back to bite us, but that's probably as close to a full game as we've played in a long time. We got after it to give ourselves a chance and that's what you ask for.
"Probably the best thing was that we took care of the basketball. We turned it over about 30 times at their place, but we didn't do that (Tuesday) and it cut down on their transition points."
Colton Bretton had a stellar showing with 18 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and a block.
"Colton played outstanding," Roberts said. "He's just gotten better and better as the season has gone along. He was really strong inside."
Other scorers were Jeffrey Harris (10 PT, 6 RB, AST), Ben Coppock (9 PT, 8 RB, AST, 2 STL, BLK), Cody Burtscher (9 PT, 2 RB, AST, STL) and Hayden Holder (2 PT, 2 RB). Coppock didnít play during the first meeting.
Stephenville hit a pair of early threes to jump out 8-2 in the first quarter, but Glen Rose settled in defensively with the Yellow Jackets going on to win the quarter 13-8. Bretton began his big night with five points.
Despite a 6-0 Stephenville run in the middle of the second quarter, it won the frame just 18-16. Harris buried two threes and Bretton kept working inside for six points. Coppock ended the half with a putback at the buzzer.
"We wanted Jeffrey to stay outside and shoot the three," Roberts said. "He played hard and did well."
Stephenville made a number of sharp passes into the post to create its offense.
Both defenses picked up their intensity in a third quarter Glen Rose won 10-9. Bretton owned the boards at this point with six rebounds in the third alone to go with five points. Burtscher hit his first three, while Coppock grabbed an offensive rebound and nailed a baseline jumper at the buzzer.
"Colton has been rebounding great," the coach said.
The Tigers gave Stephenville a scare in the fourth quarter, as it won the frame 14-12 and a Coppock midrange jumper early on brought Glen Rose within four. Coppock, who had four rebounds in the fourth, managed to deliver a buzzer-beating basket for the third quarter in a row.
"It was big to score at the end of those quarters," Roberts said. "Ben did a great job on those three shots."
Burtscher kept his focus down the stretch to make two more threes and keep Glen Rose close.
"Cody is getting healthy, like a number of guys are, and that's really helped our offense," the coach said.
Glen Rose is off Friday and will then face a critical game on Tuesday at Alvarado at 8 p.m. where it will have the chance to lock up second place in 7-3A.
"We just need to go win at Alvarado on Tuesday and wrap this up," Roberts said.