GLEN ROSE — In a matchup of two state-ranked girls basketball teams, the Glen Rose High School Lady Tigers took back the District 7-4A championship with a 40-34 victory over Stephenville High School’s Honeybees Friday night in Tiger Arena.
Last season, the Honeybees won their first outright district girls basketball title since 2013, when the knocked off coach Ramsey Ghazal’s then-reigning district champion Lady Tigers.
Friday’s win clinched first place in the five-team district with two games left, as the Lady Tigers improved to 6-0 in league play and 26-6 overall.
Coach Jason Hodges’ Honeybees slipped to 4-2 in district and 23-9 overall.
They were led offensively Friday by Landri Withers with 10 points and Kassidy Nowak with nine.
“We knew it was going to be a close, competitive game,” Hodges said. “I’ve got much respect for coach Ghazal. I knew defensively they were going to get after us. I thought we played well. We just had a couple of defensive lapses.”
Bree Baker and Hailey Ibarra paced the Lady Tigers in scoring with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Ghazal said he was happy for the team’s three seniors — Kora Dodson, Baker and Ibarra — in the fact they were able to secure the gold ball district trophy, and adding “this will help propel us down to the playoffs” as they continue to feature their season motto, “finish the fight.”
Stephenville led Glen Rose by a 12-9 margin going into the second quarter, and led just 19-18 at halftime.
“Down the stretch, we held them down,” Ghazal said.
When the Honeybees began fouling the Lady Tigers late in the game trying to regain the lead, Glen Rose responded by making their last nine free throws. With that accuracy, they stretched their lead from 30-28 to 39-32 with 18 seconds left in the game.
Both teams have two district games remaining before the start of the Class 4A playoffs. In the bi-district round, the first-place team from District 7-4A will play the fourth-place team out of District 8, while the second-place team will be paired against the No. 3 team from District 8.
In the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 4A girls basketball poll, the Lady Tigers are ranked 10th and the Honeybees are No. 14.