With Gibson out with injury, Glen Rose falls to Stephenville for second time

Travis M. Smith Managing Editor | @travis5mith tsmith@theglenrosereporter.com
Senior Sabrina Watson and the rest of the Lady Tigers are trying to rebuild their offense after the loss of fellow senior Madi Gibson. Head coach Sheree Hill said her girls just need to keep shooting to rebuild their confidence.

GLEN ROSE -- Before the Lady Tigers even stepped on the court for the third-place game against the Honeybees of Stephenville in the Glen Rose Lions Club Invitational, they were faced with an uphill battle. Stephenville was set to benefit from the return of its leading scorer, Bayleigh Chaviers, who was absent from its first game, while Glen Rose’s leading scorer and unquestioned court general, Madi Gibson, was forced to sit and watch with crutches nearby.

The offensive chemistry the Lady Tigers worked to build over the last three weeks was forced to begin a rebuild with just hours to prepare for a 4A foe that dealt an 18-point loss to Gibson and the Lady Tigers just four days prior.

“We had just found our chemistry,” said Glen Rose Head Coach Sheree Hill after addressing her team on Saturday. “I just got through telling the girls that it is kind of like a rollercoaster. We were getting there and moving on up, and even this morning we played so well for three and a half quarters, but then we just got out of sync [after Gibson’s injury]. I told them that you can’t just fall apart when you lose one player regardless of who that player is.”

For the first half, it is safe to say that (4-6) Glen Rose looked lost. Floor positioning, passing lanes and minds were all full and blocked. However, as the game went on and head coach Sheree Hill’s repeated requests for ball movement began to sink in, the spacing widen, the lanes opened and the Lady Tigers began to play a little more freely.

Not all of the shots fell, and there will undoubtedly be games where that problem rears its ugly head again, but the shots were there and the Lady Tigers were taking them. That is what the professionals like to call - progress.

“Madi is our floor leader, so with her out we are going to have to readjust and we did not do that the first half,” Hill said. “We had to start a new lineup and had some girls out of position, and that caused them to stand around a lot in the first half. But that did not happen as much in the second half and we definitely started to see some progress.

“We have got to get busy, but with Madi out, it leaves an opportunity for someone else to step up and take over her role. We will just have to wait and see who decides to do it. […] I really don’t care who it is, I really just want someone to do it and do it fast. We have district week after next. Everybody just has to adjust and look at it as a chance to fill a bigger role.”

After missing the Honeybees’ first game of the day, Chaviers got the scoring started with a basket from the left block and then assisted on the next to get Stephenville out to 4-0 lead and forced Hill into an early timeout with 4:31 to play in the first quarter.

With Lady Tigers searching for answers on offense, Emily Brandon converted an and-one attempt, Chaviers added another basket, Elizabeth Pack put an offensive rebound back up-and-in, and Skylar Chipman knocked down a three to run the Stephenville lead to 14-0 with under a minute to play in the opening quarter.

After another Honeybee three, Lozier took an inbounds pass under the Glen Rose basket and laid in the first two points of the game for the Lady Tigers.

Trailing 20-2 early in the second quarter, McAnear grabbed a tough offensive rebound and put it back for her first two points. Andress followed with a layup on the ensuing Glen Rose possession for a quick 4-0 run. The run was the only offense for the Lady Tigers for the rest of the half. Stephenville finished on a 17-0 run to take a 37-6 lead into the locker room.

Stephenville kept the pressure on in the third quarter, and while Glen Rose found a little rhythm in the second half, it was much too little much too late. The Honeybees took third place in the Glen Rose Lions Club Invitational with a 54-20 win over the Lady Tigers.

As a team, the Lady Tigers shot just 24 percent from the field and went 1-of-10 from behind the three-point line. Sabrina Watson and Jaylan Evans led the team with five points, Laiken McAnear and Brittany Miller scored four and Ally Andress added two points. McAnear led the team with nine rebounds and two assists.