Runnin' Tigers use strong finish to steal road win over Godley

Travis M. Smith Managing Editor | @travis5mith

GODLEY – Through 39 minutes and change against Godley on Friday, the Runnin’ Tigers relied heavily on their high intensity, full-court pressure to keep pace with the Wildcats. Yet thanks to a 27-10 run over the final 11 minutes, Glen Rose was able to ride into the Christmas break on a lopsided 54-35 road win.

Not only was the win the perfect way to springboard into the second half of the season and a great way to end a stressful week of final exams, but also it was the bounce-back performance (11-3) Glen Rose needed following back-to-back losses in the Glen Rose Lions Club Invitational.

After going missing in the scoring column during the second and third quarters, Tucker Garza scored nine points in the fourth quarter en route to his team high 16 points. Devin Crawford turned in one of his better offensive games of the season with 12 points, but it was his six during the third quarter that helped spark the late Glen Rose scoring run.

Bailey Holder scored 10 points and Wyatt Goebel finished with nine points – with all nine coming from behind the arc, while Ethan Hartman chipped in five points and Logan Thames two.

Overton got the Runnin’ Tigers offense started with a drive to the bucket and finish on the team’s second possession. The Glen Rose press was working early and caused Godley to be visibly uncomfortable with ball. After the press forced the third and fourth turnovers in as many Wildcat possessions, a pair of Holder free throws and a Crawford Euro-step drive in the lane netted the Runnin’ Tigers a 6-0 lead with just over five minutes to play in the opening quarter.

A deep Godley three from the top of the key cut the Glen Rose lead in half on a night when the Runnin’ Tigers did not exactly come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The basket forced head coach Owen Clifton to call the team’s first timeout.

The offensive foul called on Glen Rose out of the timeout was not ideal, but the Runnin’ Tigers’ press that forced the Wildcats into a backcourt violation was.

Garza capitalized on the defensive stand with the team’s first bucket in just over two minutes when he hit a runner from the right wing. Hartman picked up his first steal of the contest on the Wildcats’ ensuing trip down the court and Holder grabbed an offensive board for an easy two points on the Glen Rose end to run the lead to seven, 10-3, with 3:15 remaining on the clock in the first quarter.

A Goebel three pointer after the tenth Godley turnover ran the lead to 10, but was quickly followed by a Wildcat three in transition from the left corner. However, back-to-back buckets from behind the arc courtesy of Garza and Goebel ran the lead out to 13, 19-6, with 66 ticks remaining in the opening quarter.

Godley was able to add a pair of free throws in the quarter’s closing seconds, but the Runnin’ Tigers were in firm control and their press was working to the tune of 11-forced turnovers that resulted in all 19 first quarter points.

It may have taken over two minutes for either team to score in the second quarter, but Holder’s swat off of the backboard of what could have been an easy Wildcat layup was one of the more impressive defensive plays thus far in the season.

A few minutes later, Holder stole a Godley in bound pass, grabbed an offensive rebound and laid in two points with his back to the basket to give the Runnin’ Tigers a 21-10 lead with 4:04 to play in the first half.

Glen Rose was outscored 12-4 during the second quarter, but still managed to take a 23-18 lead into the locker room. Garza led the way for the offense with seven points, Goebel and Holder chipped in six, and Crawford accounted for four points.

The Glen Rose lead evaporated less than two minutes into the third quarter after a 5-0 Godley start to the second half to knot the game at 23. The offensive woes continued for Glen Rose, and Godley took its first lead of the contest on a free throw with 6:11 to play in the third quarter.

Goebel tipped a rebound to Holder on the low block on the Runnin’ Tigers’ second trip down the court following the lead change and the forward’s third basket of the game tied the game at 25 with under five minutes to play in the quarter.

The Glen Rose full-court press again forced Godley into a violation, this time on the in bound, and Hartman capitalized with his first basket of the game after an offensive rebound to reclaim the Runnin’ Tigers the lead, 27-25.

It was a Hartman rebound of a wild Wildcat shot that led to a Garza feed to a streaking Crawford for two points that changed the momentum of the contest. Crawford’s layup came at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter, and the Runnin’ Tigers would go on to outscore the Wildcats 27-10 over the final 11:07 of the contest.

Repaying the favor dealt during the second quarter, the Runnin’ Tigers outscored the Wildcats 12-4 in the third quarter behind six points from Crawford and four points from Holder.

Glen Rose took a 35-27 lead into the final eight minutes and never looked back. The 19-4 run by the Runnin’ Tigers in the fourth quarter was more than enough to notch their 11th win of the season in 14 tries by way of a 54-35 road win over the Wildcats of Godley.

Glen Rose will take 11 days off before returning to action Dec. 29-31 in the Buffalo Christmas Tournament.