Runnin' Tigers closing in on district title
GLEN ROSE — Thanks to their 60-57 victory over Lampasas on Tuesday night at Tiger Arena, the Glen Rose Runnin’ Tigers find themselves in a great position to win the District 6-4A championship with a two-game lead with three to play.
Glen Rose basketball coach Jake Bell is reminding his team that this is no time to put it in cruise control.
“We talk about this every day we step on the court — focus,” he said. “This is what separates the great teams from the good teams. We cannot let up on any team in our league and must play with the intensity and discipline that is required to get a win, especially in Round 2 when things always get tougher.”
The Tigers (21-2, 5-0) travel to Gatesville on Friday, and Glen Rose beat the Hornets (5-18, 0-6) 60-35 in the first district meeting between the two schools on Jan. 19 in Glen Rose.
“Focus is the common denominator in doing all the little things that make up the big picture,” Bell said. “I expect our guys to keep our focus these next three games. They know what is at stake, and their goal from the beginning of the year was to win a district title, which has not been done in quite some time here.”
Brownwood (12-8, 3-2) is currently second in the district, and they will host Glen Rose on Feb. 9.
In the win over Lampasas (17-4, 3-3) senior post Caden Schinagel poured in a game-high 19 points.
“I couldn't be prouder of Caden Schinagel. I literally told him Monday morning after practice that he would decide this game in the manner in which he played,” Bell said. “I wanted him to be aggressive and play with a high motor on both ends of the court. He was big around the rim and put pressure on their defense in big moments in ball screen actions as well as attacking the offensive glass.
“On defense, he has a rare ability to contest every shot and be the paint protector that we need. He definitely played to his potential, which I expect the same production these last few district games.”
Schinagel scored the Tigers’ first 10 points against the Badgers, and the two teams were tied at 12 at the end of the first quarter.
He scored four more and Cross Arrington scored five in the second quarter as the Tigers took a 29-27 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the game was tied or the lead changed hands seven times with the lead never going higher than three points.
“It really did not matter who had the lead or who was down because most of the game was such a back-and-forth dog fight. I knew if we could get up six or seven late, we could stretch the game out as long as we made free throws. We were fortunate to go on a little run late in the fourth quarter that gave us that cushion.”
The Tigers, who led 42-41 heading into the fourth quarter, went on a 7-3 run to open the quarter on buckets by Arrington and Kanyon Keese and a 3-pointer from Matthew Hammonds.
Following a steal and layup, Lampasas had the lead down to one with three minutes left, and a 7-0 Tiger run behind two free throws from Kolton Mooney, a basket by Schinagel and a triple by Hammonds increased the lead to eight with one minute to play.
Lampasas trimmed the lead to three points with 10 seconds left, and with less than four seconds left stole a Tiger inbounds pass and had two 3-point attempts to tie the game but missed both.
“Lampasas has the ability to score the ball at a high pace and make big shots, so the game is never over until the clock ticks to zero,” Bell said. “That was proven to be the case. Both teams deserved to win that game because both teams played with tremendous heart and effort. It was a special night for our seniors and the program as a whole.”
Behind Schinagel’s 19, Hammonds finished with 12 (all 3s) as did Arrington, while Mooney and Keese finished with nine and eight points, respectively.