The Stephenville Honeybees clinched the District 7-4A girls basketball championship and moved up one spot to No. 7 in the state rankings this week after Friday’s 38-32 girls basketball victory over state-ranked Glen Rose.
Coach Alan Thorpe’s Honeybees elevated their district record to 6-0, and their overall mark to 22-6. It was the third district setback for Glen Rose (27-6, 3-3), which came into the season as the defending district champion. The Honeybees inched up from ninth to eighth in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches rankings, while Glen Rose slipped one rung, from 18th to 19th.
Thorpe said he believes this marks the Honeybees’ first outright district basketball championship since 2013.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Thorpe said of wrestling the district crown away from the Lady Tigers, who reached the regional semifinals last season and finished with a 34-2 record — the fewest losses in GRHS girls basketball history. “It’s been a while (since the Honeybees’ last district title) but they worked hard and they deserved this.”
Godley’s 45-43 loss to Brownwood on Friday helped SHS clinch the title. Glen Rose and Brownwood are tied for second at 3-3, while Godley is 2-3 and Mineral Wells is 0-5.
The Honeybees failed to have anyone score in double figures Friday, but were led by Jayci Morton’s nine points, followed by Madison Gilder with eight and Kassie Nowak with six.
McClendon said she felt like the Honeybees played a little better defensively overall than they did in their 38-31 win over the Lady Tigers on Jan. 8 in Glen Rose.
“We needed to play good defense and not foul and play as a team,” McClendon said. “We were the better team overall. We didn’t need to lose our composure and doubt ourselves. This was really big because last year they beat us both times. I’m really happy.”
The Honeybees held Glen Rose to just three points in the defense-dominated opening quarter, and took a 6-3 lead into the second quarter.
Glen Rose crept within one, 14-13, by halftime.
Stephenville then slowly pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Lady Tigers 10-8 in the third quarter and 14-11 in the fourth.
“They’re so good with the ball that we wanted to try to run down the clock, but be aggressive,” Thorpe said of the latter stages of the contest. “The first time (in Glen Rose) we gave them a 17-point first quarter, so there was a big difference defensively, what we did. I thought we shot the ball better this game. We played the defense a lot like we did the first time, but we did a lot more switching on screens.”
The Honeybees are scheduled to play at Godley on Tuesday (tonight) and then close out the regular-season slate at home against Brownwood on Friday, Feb. 1 (varsity at 6 p.m.).
As the district champion, in the bi-district round of the playoffs SHS will play the fourth-place team out of District 8. Going into Tuesday night’s games, Decatur (4-2), Bridgeport (3-3) and Krum (2-3) trail 5-0 Argyle. Springtown is out of playoff contention at 0-6.