Runnin' Tigers run into Thanksgiving with 5-1 record

Travis M. Smith | @travis5mith Managing Editor

GLEN ROSE – Six games in as many days proved to be no problem for the Runnin’ Tigers inside the comfortable confines of Tiger Arena on the Tuesday before the long Thanksgiving break - at all.

Actually, Tuesday night could have been the perfect trap game for Glen Rose - a visiting 2A team in Meridian, the second game of a back-to-back at home after toughing out four wins in five games in five days. However, if the 20-point-first-quarter lead did not signify the Runnin’ Tigers meant business, then the 50-14 halftime lead sure did.

And if neither of those proved the point, then surely the goose egg they held the Yellow Jackets to in the third quarter did. In the end, there was no doubting which team was the more talented of the two following (5-1) Glen Rose’s 70-22 win.

For GR Head Coach Owen Clifton, the offensive outburst was a perfect ending to a long week of basketball.

“Tonight was good to see, because after we came out and shot the ball so well against Poolville, we have kind of been tapering off,” Clifton said. “Our main focus was that we have to shoot the ball better, and especially on our home court we have to shoot the ball better. Two-point field goals we were 50 percent [from the floor] and we were 42 percent from three, so that is what we want. We shot the ball much better tonight.

“I was really proud of them. I thought they really respected the game, and they always played hard. We did not worry about the score, we focused on playing hard and executing, and I thought they did that.”

Tucker Garza intercepted a Meridian pass and fed it up court to a streaking Wyatt Goebel for an easy layup and the game’s opening points. On the Runnin’ Tigers next trip down the court, Devin Crawford absorb a foul in the lane and was able to knock down both shots from the charity stripe for a quick 4-0 Glen Rose lead.

After Garza’s quick hands forced another Meridian turnover, Goebel popped a corner three to build the Runnin’ Tigers lead to six, 7-1, with a little more than two minutes off of the clock in the game’s opening quarter.

The senior forward hit a second three on next Glen Rose possession, and Logan Thames cleaned up his own offensive glass for his first two points of the game after yet another Yellow Jacket turnover for a 12-4 lead.

Goebel knocked down his third three of the quarter and Garza followed with his first to extend the Glen Rose lead to 20-4 with 2:36 to play in the opening quarter.

Three’s are nice, but Crawford’s no-look feed to Thames in the lane to give the Runnin’ Tigers a 26-6 lead was the highlight of the opening eight minutes.

The lead grew to 30-8 after Goebel proved he was more than just a spot shooter by finding Holder in the lane on a no-look pass on the Runnin’ Tigers first possession of the second quarter and Garza knocked down his second trey after a Meridian turnover. Not to be outdone, Crawford scored three the old-fashioned way by converting his and-one attempt to build a 30-point lead with well over five minutes to play in the half.

Layne McAnear’s corner three got the Runnin’ Tigers to 50, and the lead held at 50-14 as the two teams headed into the locker rooms.

Goebel led all scorers at the break with 15 points, thanks largely in part to his game-high three treys. Seven other Runnin’ Tigers scored in the half including Crawford’s seven points, Garza’s six and Hartman’s six. Jason Dashner led the Yellow Jackets offense with four points.

The second half was more of a countdown of the final 16 minutes and getting everyone involved, than it was about putting points on the board. Glen Rose cruised to its fifth win on the young season, 70-22.

“It was good to get all of the guys in the game and to log minutes,” said Clifton after the blowout win. “All of the games so far have been tight, even the Poolville game that was a 25-point win was tight until late in the fourth quarter, so it was nice to be able to reward those guys. All of these guys work hard and bust their tails in practice, so any time that we can get them all playing time we want to do that.

“It was nice to see them step up and play well tonight, too. This game was good for us and it will be a good way for us to go into the break.”

The Runnin’ Tigers returned from the Thanksgiving holiday with a road game against Gatesville on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and will have another seven days off before returning home to square off with Springtown on Tuesday, Dec. 8.