Tiger basketball clinched second place in 7-3A on Friday night in Burleson, but perhaps more importantly Glen Rose played arguably its best game of the year heading into the playoffs.
The Tigers (17-13) scored a season-high 78 points – hitting 10 three-pointers along the way – to beat Alvarado (78-64) and win the season series 2-1. Glen Rose also hasn’t allowed an opponent to score 78 points this season.
"Our game came to a different level (Friday)," said coach Wayne Roberts. "We haven't scored that many points in a long time and got a lot of good contributions. I was real proud of our guys; hopefully we can keep this momentum up."
Ben Coppock played one of his best games with 25 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
"I haven't been myself all (through) district, but we've pulled through as a team and I'm glad to contribute as much as possible," Coppock said.
Other double-digit scorers were Hayden Bach (14 PT, 2 RB, AST) and Jeffrey Harris (13 PT, 6 RB, 3 AST).
"Jeffrey has always been a pretty good shooter and 13 points is a great contribution," Coppock said.
Glen Rose also got scoring from Colton Bretton (9 PT, 4 RB, 3 AST, STL), Marquis Holder (8 PT, 5 RB, AST), Curry Mapes (8 PT, AST) and Cody Burtscher (1 PT, 4 RB, 6 AST).
Xavier Adams scored 35 points for Alvarado, but it just wasn’t enough.
"We couldn't stop Adams," Roberts said. "We did everything in the world, but he had a heck of a game."
After neither team scored in the first three minutes, Glen Rose came alive over the last five minutes to win the first quarter 20-10. The Tigers exploded out to a 16-2 lead, as Coppock, Bach and Marquis Holder each nailed a three.
"I think they thought they'd come out here and get an easy one, but that 16-2 start showed them what we could do," Coppock said.
Roberts appreciated the eruption.
"Nobody scored for a while, and then all of the sudden boom, boom, boom," the coach said. "We were clicking."
Bretton also got off to a good start with six points in the paint. The Tigers had six assists in the first.
Harris hit a three to open the second quarter, but Alvarado seized the momentum and won the frame 21-14. Glen Rose didn’t rebound well in the quarter, yet it did continue to hit from deep with threes from Marquis Holder and Bach.
Adams really began to get rolling and the Indians hit back-to-back-to-back threes at one point. Alvarado even took a slight lead before a Marquis Holder putback allowed the Tigers to lead 34-31 at the half.
"We got a little tentative in that quarter and they went to a defense we'd never seen," Roberts said.
Glen Rose certainly grabbed the momentum back in the third quarter, as it won the frame 25-14. The Tigers picked up their rebounding, led by three each from Coppock and Harris, as Harris successfully completed two and-one plays.
"Jeffrey can shoot the ball, plus he followed his shot when he did miss for a couple of three-point plays," Roberts said. "We put Cody at the five for the first time and he did a great job."
Coppock made consecutive threes while Mapes also made two – including a half-court three at the buzzer to send his teammates and Tiger fans into a frenzy.
"That's just a killer if you're on the other side of it; it was a big play and you can't say enough about Curry coming in off the bench," Roberts said of the Mapes hoist. "That's probably our second-highest quarter this season. Several guys were hot and we hit free throws. When you shoot the ball like that and play defense, fans enjoy the game and so do the players."
Coppock loved the Mapes buzzer beater.
"That was the icing on the cake to me; it put us over the edge," Coppock said.
Glen Rose was putting in the effort defensively, considering Mapes took a charge in the third after Coppock took one in the second.
Alvarado kept fighting and made four threes in the fourth, but it wasn’t able to win the quarter as each team scored 19. Bach was playing well before he fouled out with four of his points in the fourth. Coppock was flying up and down the court to score 10 points in the quarter, including a fast-break dunk that finalized the score and gave him the last-three hoops of the ballgame.
"There was no one around, so I kind of went with (the dunk)," Coppock said.
Roberts liked the senior's late surge.
"Ben took it over there at the end when we needed him," the coach said. "He's been looking for that dunk all year. Our team has come a long way.
Glen Rose will now face Gatesville on Tuesday in bi-district play at Waco Midway with the time to be determined.
"It's a great feeling to get some momentum going into the playoffs," Coppock said. "All the seniors are really looking for a playoff win. We can still improve our offense and can't let this go to our heads."