Lady Tigers edge Decatur to advance
ALEDO — The No. 8 Glen Rose Lady Tigers advanced to the third round of the Class 4A playoffs for the second straight year with a thrilling 35-34 victory over District 7 Champion and ninth-ranked Decatur on Saturday at Aledo High School.
Next up, the team faced Krum at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Weatherford High School. The results of that game were not available by press time, but can be found online at yourglenrosetx.com.
“We knew it would be a battle,” Glen Rose girls basketball coach Ramsey Ghazal said. “They are an exceptional team and program. They have some special athletes who are also skilled, so our girls knew it would take 32 minutes of playing really hard and composed. A big checkmark for our girls on doing that in this game.”
The Lady Tigers trailed by four points with 4:52 left in the game after the Lady Eagles hit a 3-pointer to give them their largest lead of the game at 31-27.
Glen Rose’s Hazel Hawkins buried a 3-pointer with 3:53 left to start a 8-0 Lady Tiger run. Jeana Douglas added two foul shots, followed by a bucket by Abby Stephenson and later added a foul shot to push the Lady Tigers up 35-31 with less than a minute to play.
Decatur stopped its scoring drought with a foul shot with 34.3 to play to cut the lead to three. The Lady Eagles forced a jump ball on Glen Rose’s next possession and had two 3-point attempts to tie the game before hitting a two-pointer at the buzzer.
“We feel that we have established ourselves as a top-10 program as well, and it’s unfortunate that two really good teams have to face off so early in the playoffs, but we knew this was the challenge when realignment came out,” Ghazal said. “I always tell our girls that it takes a total team effort and some unique performances to win games like this.”
With the win, the Lady Tigers improve to 25-3, and they will play the winner of Monday night’s game between Krum and District 6-4A foe Gatesville. Site, day and time will be announced.
“Krum is a great program as well and who is no stranger to deep playoff runs,” Ghazal said. “Gatesville really likes to shoot the 3-pointer, and if they are hitting, they can play with anyone.”
Glen Rose won the two meetings with Gatesville during district play.
In the win over Decatur, Douglas paced the Lady Tigers with 11 points, including 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Hannah Cantwell chipped in with eight, and Aimee Flippen came off the bench and scored seven, six of which came in a three-minute stretch late in the second quarter when the Lady Tiger built a game-high 21-13 lead with a minute left in the half.
Stephenson finished with six and Hawkins’ lone three points came on the huge triple to cut into the Decatur lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“Anytime that we have a setback like the six-day lay-off due to weather, we look at the positives and move on,” Ghazal said. “I think the lay-off hurt the teams who dwelled on it.”