Tigers hold off 6A Weatherford in post-Christmas tilt

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Glen Rose's Matthew Hammonds goes up for two of his game-high 24 points Monday at Weatherford.
Glen Rose's Austin Worthen gets fouled by a Weatherford defender while grabbing a rebound on Monday in Weatherford.

WEATHERFORD — The Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers picked up right where they left off before the Christmas break by beating Class 6A Weatherford 58-48 on Monday afternoon in Weatherford.

“A win right after Christmas break is always one that you have to appreciate given the amount of time off,” Glen Rose basketball coach Jake Bell said. “In my opinion, this is one of the hardest weeks of the season because you lose all momentum and rhythm to this point and have to find a way to create new momentum headed into district. I was proud with our effort and execution.”

With the win, the Tigers improve to 13-1 overall with their fourth consecutive win. They also played Graford, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, on Tuesday instead of Hamilton, who had to cancel due to COVID-related issues. The Runnin’ Tigers also played Liberty Hill on Wednesday. They will play the first game of the new year on Jan. 5 at Graham.

“You are not necessarily worried about their effort, but more concerned with their team chemistry. That is the hardest thing to create within the season and then it somewhat comes to a pause with the Christmas break,” Bell said. “We looked tired at times, but that will be fixed with court time and conditioning. The energy was good overall.”

The Tigers led by as many at 15 points in the fourth quarter against the Kangaroos as they opened the final quarter on an 8-0 run behind four points from Worthen, but they saw the double-digit lead whittled down to five midway through the stanza.

Weatherford answered with a 10-0 run during a two-minute stretch and the lead was 49-44 with 2:03 to play. Cross Arrington broke the Tigers’ scoring drought with a 3-pointer from the corner, and a Kanyon Keese steal led to a Worthen lay-up to balloon the lead back to 10 with a minute to play.

“We had very poor shot selection for four or five straight possessions. We not only had poor shot selection, but we shot it very early in our possession, which created transition opportunities for them,” Bell said. “We had a few bad bounces on their baseline that lead to a few lay-ups. These kids will obviously learn what to do and not to do in late-game situations going forward.”

When the game got close, the Tigers went to their pressure defense and that led to several easy hoops to widen the gap.

“We did a great job of rotating on our press and being active in passing lanes,” Bell said. “We had a great trap past half court that lead to a steal and a key layup late in the game.”

Glen Rose increased its one-point lead after the first quarter up to five at the break. Behind eight points from Matthew Hammonds in the third quarter, the Tigers led by seven heading into the final quarter.

Hammonds led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points, thanks to the aid of four 3-pointers. Worthen finished with 13 points, while Cross Arrington added nine (all 3-pointers) and Kolton Mooney added eight.