Lady Tiger basketball found itself behind at halftime in Whitney after a rough second quarter, but Glen Rose owned the action the rest of the way on Friday night.
The Lady Tigers (21-8) actually convincingly won three of the four quarters in the non-district 51-40 victory. There were several impressive aspects to the Lady Tigers’ performance, namely the way they shared the wealth with eight players scoring at least five points.
"I'm really glad we played this game because Whitney is scrappy and it wasn't going to be easy," said coach Sheree Hill. "We had to make several adjustments and I thought we did that in the second half. I'm real proud of how they finished."
Glen Rose also drained a season-high eight three-pointers – including four from four different players in the third quarter.
"I'm glad to see us shooting the ball a little better," Hill said.
Kate Goen (9 PT, 2 RB, 2 BLK) led the team in scoring, as the senior nailed a trio of threes. Reilly Junge (7 PT, 8 RB, 2 AST, STL) was also a primary scorer.
"I think as the season has gone on, we've played better as a team," Goen said. "(Whitney) played good defense, but we got a lot of points by swinging the ball to the backside."
Five different players scored six points, including Kayla Goebel (6 PT, 7 RB, AST, 4 STL, 2 BLK), Kelsey Potter (6 PT, 7 RB, AST, 2 STL, BLK), Madi Gibson (6 PT, 9 RB, 2 AST), Shelby Rotan (6 PT, 2 RB, 3 AST, 3 STL) and Ashlan Bernard (6 PT). Destiny Ponce (5 PT, 3 RB, AST, STL) also got on the scoreboard.
In a 14-8 Glen Rose first quarter, the Lady Tigers rapidly took a 10-2 lead with Rotan and Junge assisting one another on threes. Potter and Rotan each had multiple steals in the frame, as Whitney traveled and struggled to handle the ball at times.
"Shelby was working so hard on backside rebounds and looking to make things happen offensively," Hill said. "I think it was one of her best ballgames."
When she was fouled while shooting a three at the buzzer, Bernard stepped to the charity stripe and knocked down all three.
"Ashlan told me after she made those three that she's most confident when shooting free throws," Goen said. "I think her defense is amazing because she's so quick."
After committing seven fouls in the first quarter, it wasn’t long before Glen Rose got to 10 fouls and Whitney shot 12 free throws in a second quarter it dominated 15-4.
"We put them on the free throw line way too early, and I had warned the girls those officials were calling it tight," Hill said. "Then we had to crawl out of the hole."
Goen’s play was the highlight of the quarter, as she made her first three and blocked two shots – including one at the halftime buzzer.
"I got aggravated that all the (Whitney) parents were calling for a foul, because that was a clean block," Goen said.
Whitney finished the half on an 11-1 run, as Glen Rose had trouble scoring inside against 6’4” post Erika Brown (10 PT).
"You just have to deal with (Brown) down there," Hill said. "She had a good touch and we had to put two people on her."
Late in the quarter, Kiffany Kelly unfortunately reinjured her knee and the senior will not play the remainder of the season.
"We weren't in the right spots in our zone offense and it hurt us," Hill said of the second quarter. "I decided to let some of our starters watch the game and see what was going on. Kiffany has been a great team player. I hate that she is hurt again; she'll probably be promoted to assistant coach now."
Glen Rose returned from the locker room sharp and dominated the third quarter 19-10. After Ponce and Rotan assisted each other on threes, Rotan found Goebel for a three and then Gibson got the ball to Goen for another three.
"When they're sitting in a zone like that, you have to be able to hit from the outside," Hill said. "Kate did an awesome job."
Gibson had a strong quarter with five points and the second of her three-straight quarters with three rebounds. The Lady Tigers were aggressive at the defensive end with blocks from Goebel and Potter.
"Madi got physical as the game went on," Hill said.
In a fourth quarter they won 14-7, the Lady Tigers were outstanding with 14 rebounds – led by Potter (4), Junge (3) and Gibson (3).
"We got a lot of late rebounds after Coach Hill got onto us at halftime about not blocking out," Goen said.
Hill was pleased with the Lady Tiger defense down the stretch.
"We front-and-backed the big girl and tried to overplay the guard we thought was hurting us the most," Hill said.
Goen made one more three, while Potter completed an and-one play via a putback against the much taller Brown.
"I've spent a lot of time in practice shooting threes; Coach Hill has been helping me with it," Goen said. "I've made more in practice (lately), so I felt a lot more confident (Friday)."
Bernard spent some time at the free throw line down the stretch, as she made six of seven on the night.
"Ashlan made them pay for putting her on the line," Hill said. "She's a good free throw shooter."
The Lady Tigers will conclude district play on Tuesday in Alvarado at 6:30 p.m.
"We have to go to Alvarado and be ready to make the adjustments it takes to win," Hill said.
Goen is enjoying the ride.
"In my senior year, it feels amazing to have the most wins one of Coach Hill's Glen Rose teams has had," Goen said. "It's been a great season."