After a tight first quarter, the Lady Tigers showed why they are still on an undefeated roll on Thursday night.
Glen Rose (10-0) won the middle quarters 31-6 over 4A Joshua in a 55-22 victory to advance in its Luminant/Glen Rose Lions Club Tournament.
“I like how we stepped up in the second quarter to put a stamp on (the game),” said coach Sheree Hill. “We did a great job of taking over the game. I think the kids were ready (for this one).”
Kayla Goebel took it to Joshua with 20 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks.
“I’ve been playing pretty much awful in the past couple of games, so I’ve been coming up to the gym after practice working and (the shots) finally fell (Thursday),” the junior said. “We figured out that they didn’t (dribble well left-handed) and what they were trying to do to break our press, so we just defended it and they got crazy with the ball.”
Other scorers included Destiny Ponce (15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals), Reilly Junge (7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), Ashlan Bernard (4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals), Kelsey Potter (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks), Madi Gibson (2 points, 5 rebounds, assist, 3 steals), Shelby Rotan (2 points, rebound, assist, 3 steals) and Kiffany Kelly (1 point, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, block).
Although Glen Rose seemed to control the first quarter, Joshua managed to hit a couple of threes and then made a short jumper at the buzzer for a 9-9 affair. Goebel and Ponce both started fast with multiple baskets, including Goebel stealing the ball and scoring in transition. In a ballgame where Glen Rose had 21 steals and six blocks, Bernard made two first-quarter steals.
“Ashlan is doing a very good job,” Hill said. “She’s playing with a lot of confidence. We were a little flat in our last game. We just have to be intense and we talked about that.”
The Lady Tigers hit Joshua with a 10-0 run to open the second quarter, including Kelly stealing the ball and assisting Junge on a completed and-one play. Kelly then assisted Ponce on an inbounds layup and Goebel splashed a wing three for a 19-9 lead.
“Kiffany is so unselfish,” Hill said. “She will do whatever we need; I’d like her to shoot more. That was a nice job by Reilly to draw the foul and finish.
“Kayla relaxes when her shot is on and she can have big games. She got good looks and knocked them down.”
In what was a very physical game, the Lady Tigers were causing Joshua so many problems that the blue team didn’t even get many shots off.
“A lot of our players took a beating in this game,” Hill said. “If you backed off that team, I bet they could put the ball in the hole. We didn’t want to give them an opportunity to do that.”
Goebel hit another three, scored in transition and Potter blocked her second shot of the half for a 25-13 lead.
“We don’t practice blocks, but they enjoy doing that,” Hill said. “As long as they don’t get in foul trouble and are playing good defense, I’m fine with it. It gets them excited.”
The Lady Tigers were even better on defense to take the third quarter 15-2. Kelly and Goebel each had a steal and a block in the frame. Bernard was in a groove, as she scored off a Junge assist and then made a steal to assist Ponce on a layup.
“Ashlan is doing amazing and she’s so quick that it’s hard to deal with her defense,” Goebel said.
Late in the quarter, Kelly assisted Goebel on a driving layup and then Bernard found Potter for a long jumper.
“They were focused on stopping Reilly, and that allowed other kids the opportunity to take it to the hole,” Hill said.
Glen Rose nearly pitched a shutout in the quarter, but a Joshua player was fouled at the buzzer and made a couple of free throws.
“That’s fabulous to know we almost shut them out in the third,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers worked the offensive boards in the fourth quarter, as Goebel and Ponce both scored on putbacks.
“Destiny always crashes the boards hard and she’s determined to get to the ball,” Goebel said.
Underclassmen Bernard and Gibson hit jumpers, and then Rotan drove to the hoop for a layup.
“Shelby did some things well,” Hill said. “I liked to see her attack on that layup, and she played very aggressive defense.”
In the closing moments, Goebel blocked her second shot of the quarter.
“Me and Kelsey played against a couple of those girls in summer ball, so we knew what they were going to do,” Goebel said.
The Lady Tigers will now face Mineral Wells today at 2:20 p.m. in Tiger Arena. Glen Rose won a previous meeting this season 67-50.
“We just have to be ready, play smart and do what we can to slow down their big girl while also putting points on the board,” Hill said.