No. 6 Lady Tigers hold off No. 5 Stephenville, 39-33
GLEN ROSE — With their 39-33 victory over No. 5 Stephenville on Tuesday night at Tiger Arena, the No. 6 Glen Rose Lady Tigers have kept themselves in the District 6-4A race.
“The importance of this game is that it gives these girls an opportunity to repeat as district champs, and three in the last four years in very tough districts,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said. “Seeding just doesn’t matter as much this year, so this was just more about giving ourselves a chance to win another gold ball.”
With the win, the Lady Tigers improve to 22-2 overall and 5-1 in district play with two games remaining. They are off Friday, but they return to action Tuesday when the travel Lampasas before closing out the regular season on Friday, Feb. 5, with Gatesville at Tiger Arena.
“We have to guard against being satisfied,” Ghazal said after the win over the Honeybees. “This doesn’t need to be our biggest win of the season. This needs to be a win that propels us to bigger wins in the playoffs.”
Senior guard Hannah Cantwell paced the Lady Tigers with 16 points, nine of which game in the crucial fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers entered the final stanza up 25-23, but the Honeybees drilled a 3-pointer and hit a pair of foul shots to lead 28-27 with five minutes left. The GR defense, however, held the Honeybees scoreless until the last minute of the game. By that time, the Lady Tigers had built a nine-point cushion, thanks in part a 3-pointer from Cantwell and six free throws as well as a three-point play from Jeana Douglas, who finished the game with nine points.
Glen Rose trailed by as many as eight points in the second quarter and cut the lead to two points just before the half. Defensively, the Lady Tigers held Stephenville to just 13 second-half points.
“Stephenville is an athletic team that is a match-up nightmare,” Ghazal said. “They’re probably the toughest team to defend since I’ve been at Glen Rose, and hats off to each one of our players for the effort, focus and determination that they had on the defensive end.”
Also, in their first meeting of the year, a 40-34 Stephenville win, Honeybee Alee McClendon had 16 points, but on Tuesday, she had just two points, and they came in the final minute.
“Jeana holding McClendon to two points was huge for us,” Ghazal said. “Abby Stephenson and Hannah Cantwell drawing the four charges was huge for us. Those are things that really don’t show up in the stats, but they show up in the win column.”
Stephenson finished with seven points.
In the Lady Tigers 54-31 road victory over Brownwood on Friday night, Hazel Hawkins led the Lady Tigers with 14 points, while Cantwell and Stephenson added 10 each and Douglas added nine.