MINERAL WELLS — The Glen Rose Lady Tigers passed their first playoff test in a challenging playoff environment, and now they will take the second step in their postseason journey.
On Tuesday, the Lady Tigers took on Mineral Wells — in front of a large, noisy crowd on the Lady Rams’ home court — and survived with a 55-52 triumph. They brought home a Class 4A bi-district trophy, but didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate.
Tonight (Feb. 16), coach Ramsey Ghazal’s Lady Tigers will take on Burkburnett in the area round of the playoffs, at the Jacksboro High School gym. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Burkburnett advanced with its 47-32 bi-district win over Big Spring Monday.
Glen Rose, the third-place team out of District 8-4A, improved to 26-8 on the season. Burkburnett, the District 6-4A champion, is 23-3 and ranked No. 20 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
Mineral Wells led the Lady Tigers at halftime, 26-25.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Ghazal said. “It was a crazy crowd. It was a good crowd for both teams. If we had played on a neutral court, we wouldn’t have had that. It’s exciting, but we can’t be happy with this. Our saying is, ‘Why not us, why not now.’”
The Lady Tigers were outscored by Mineral Wells in the second quarter of the tight contest, 13-10.
“We didn’t have a very good defensive game,” Ghazal noted. “We missed some rotations. Hailey Ibarra did a good job as a freshman.”
Glen Rose outscored the Lady Rams 19-15 in the third quarter to pull away for a little while, but the Lady Rams kept up the pressure.
Ally Andress made a put-back under the basket for Glen Rose with 25 seconds left in the third quarter to grab the lead back, 42-41. Teammate Sydney Lozier buried a tough pull-up jumper from near the free-throw line just before the buzzer entering the fourth quarter to give the Lady Tigers a 44-41 edge.
Andress added a field goal to make it a 49-41 margin for the Lady Tigers, then hit two free throws to make the Glen Rose lead 53-47. The Lady Rams refused to die, however, scoring five of the final seven points.
Andress was the top scorer for Glen Rose with 23 points, while Lozier added eight. Jaylan Evans and Logan Smith scored six points each for the Lady Tigers, while Presley Grace had five, Collie Keller had four and Hailey Ibarra had three.
Andress, a junior, said that in the locker room at halftime, they talked about wanting to win the first playoff game for the seniors on the team.
“It was awesome,” Andress said of the win. “It was my first playoff game. We fought hard. We were talking about how we needed to pick it up, and we didn’t want this to be the seniors’ last game. I’m super excited.”
The winner will meet either Stephenville or Brownwood next week in the third round of the playoffs.