Lady Tiger basketball faced a halftime deficit on Tuesday night at home, but a huge third quarter turned the tide in a hurry.
Glen Rose (2-0) outscored Maypearl 25-14 in the third on the way to a 58-49 victory.
“Maypearl is a good team; they wanted to get us pretty good,” said coach Sheree Hill.
Standout point guard Reilly Junge (5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 steals, block) was saddled with foul trouble and fouled out with 1:39 remaining, but her teammates really stepped up. Destiny Ponce (17 points, 4 rebounds, assist) and Kayla Goebel (16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals) were each impressive, especially in the paint.
“Reilly played really good to lead us in the first game and a lot of us didn’t play very well in that one,” Goebel said. “This game showed how the whole team can play better.”
Ponce just decided she was going to do what her team needed to win.
“At first it started off kind of rough with Reilly getting in foul trouble and I just decided that I had to step up,” Ponce said. “I started breaking to the basket and using shot fakes when I needed to. It just went my way.”
Other point producers included Kiffany Kelly (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals), Shelby Rotan (5 points, rebound, 5 assists, steal), Kate Sammons (4 points, 4 rebounds), Samantha Montoya (2 points, rebound) and Kelsey Potter (1 point, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, steal).
Glen Rose got off to a great start at 10-0 in the first quarter with Kelly and Rotan hitting baseline jumpers and Ponce completing an and-one play.
“It was like we thought we had them beat and then we let up on our defense and they came back at us to lead at halftime,” Goebel said.
Maypearl managed to strike back in a hurry with two late threes – including a deep bank three at the buzzer – for a 12-8 Glen Rose lead.
“They threw some shots up that went in, and that’s part of the game,” Hill said.
Little went right in the second quarter for Glen Rose, but after the visitors capped off an 11-2 run with a corner three, Goebel was able to complete a three-point play the old-fashioned way and immediately knock down a wing three. Both baskets were assisted by Junge.
“It always gets me going when I get an and-one or an offensive board,” Goebel said.
Hill was pleased with the sequence as well.
“That helped get Kayla going for the rest of the game and she had a good night,” the coach said. “Some of Reilly’s passes are fun to watch – the way she can see the floor.”
Offensive fouls began to mount against several players and turnovers in general really made things tough for Glen Rose the rest of the quarter, and just three team rebounds didn’t help matters. A late Maypearl baseline jumper put the visitors up 22-20 at the half.
“The second quarter was a nightmare,” Hill said. “Things didn’t go our way on those fouls, but we also didn’t adjust to what the referees were calling.”
Third quarter’s the charm
Ponce came roaring out of the locker room with her second completed and-one play and then moments later she hit a short bankshot off a Rotan assist. Rotan actually led the team with five assists.
“I tend to get nervous at the free throw line and miss, but (Tuesday) I kept my head straight and ignored (distractions),” Ponce said. “Shelby looks to make the right pass to help us score.”
Hill credited Rotan’s passing as well.
“That was a great passing game for Shelby,” the coach said.
While Junge had to sit much of the third due to fouls, when she was in the senior got a steal, scored in transition despite a foul and made the free throw. Ponce returned the favor to Rotan later in the quarter when she assisted Shelby on a corner three.
The Lady Tigers were in a rebounding frenzy, as Sammons and Goebel had consecutive putbacks in a matter of moments. Goebel was dominant in the frame with nine points and six rebounds.
“Kate did some good things for us and she seemed to have a calming effect in some instances for the rest of the girls,” Hill said. “Kayla was playing great at that point. Both of our point guards were in foul trouble, so Kelsey went in there to run things and did a great job. We’re versatile and that helps.”
Goebel wasn’t quite finished in the quarter, as she took a Kelly pass and banked in a straightaway three. Potter then assisted Kelly to give Glen Rose 25 points in the third (45-36).
“That’s probably the best quarter I’ve ever had,” Goebel said. “It’s just the way things fell into place. I don’t know what was going on with us in the first half and we had a really bad second quarter, so after we came back out of the locker room we were ready to turn it up.”
Early in the fourth, Ponce managed to complete her third and-one play of the night with a made free throw. All three of Rotan’s second-half assists came on Ponce hoops.
“That was a great job by Destiny to complete those plays,” Hill said. “I thought we made some good (post) feeds to her. Destiny really stepped up and I was especially pleased with her hitting those free throws.”
Maypearl players were making some tough runners at this point and pulled within five points late in the contest, but Kelly scored a couple of timely buckets in the paint and a Ponce putback finalized the score (58-49).
“Kiffany helped calm things down late in the game so we could hold onto that lead,” Hill said.
After six rebounds in the third, Goebel again easily led the team with four in the fourth.
“When Kayla is rebounding like that we get more chances to score,” Ponce said. “We can still play better defense and rebound more.”
The Lady Tigers will now host Mineral Wells on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“Mineral Wells is big and I’d expect it to be our toughest game yet,” Hill said. “We have to eliminate the turnovers and shoot better at the free throw line, plus reduce the free throws we’re giving up.”