Article on Wildcats’ opponent in Friday’s Play-off Game

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Reprinted from Gatesville High School Athletic Webpage?
No. 3 Kennedale Tough Challenge for GHS

Gatesville will get one of its toughest assignments so far this season Friday (7:30 PM, West High School) when it faces Kennedale in the Class 3A area playoffs. The 3rd-ranked Wildcats come in as one of the state’s top clubs with a District 6-3A title and 31-2 record. “They are plenty good,” said GHS coach Thomas Winkler. “They are talented at every position. They like to run the floor and do a good job at that.” The winner of the Gatesville-Kennedale tilt will face the winner of Liberty Hill vs. Burkburnett, who also play Friday night. While Kennedale got a first-round bye, Gatesville edged Glen Rose 35-33 in overtime Tuesday in the bi-district round. {{more}}The Hornets erased a 6-point deficit in the final three minutes to earn the win. “I was proud of the way our kids fought back, the way we never quit,” admitted Winkler. “That’s what good teams do…that’s what we have to do every night.”

Hornets Edge Glen Rose 35-33 in Overtime
For a few moments late in Tuesday night’s game, it appeared Gatesville’s first step into the 2012-2013 postseason would be its only one. Yet, the upstart Hornets weren’t going to make first-year head coach Thomas Winkler’s initial playoff trip a one-and-done. Trailing by as many as six points with less than three minutes to play, the Hornets rallied to down Glen Rose 35-33 in overtime for a Class 3A bi-district win at Waco Midway. “I am proud for our kids, the way they battled back,” said Winkler. “Their zone gave us some problems, but we had some open looks and we did a good job knocking a lot down. I am not sure if it was just being in the playoffs or what.” The victory sends GHS (17-15 overall) into the area round, where it will face No. 3 Kennedale on Friday (7:30 PM) at West High School.
Gatesville came out of the gates on fire, scoring the game’s first 10 points off two baskets and a triple from Danny Byrd and a three-pointer by Seth Martin that made it 10-0 with 2:07 left in the opening period. Glen Rose, the No. 2 seed from District 7-3A, cut the lead to 10-6 by quarter’s end. However, the Hornets went to work again offensively with a 9-3 run in the second stanza that gave GHS a 19-10 advantage at halftime. Much of the second half was a reversal for both teams. Gatesville managed only a free throw from Tobias Moore during the third quarter, while Glen Rose controlled the period 14-1. The Tigers extended their lead to as much as six points with 2:53 remaining, but Gatesville wasn’t about to warm up the bus just yet. Justin Massey canned a long-range trey, then Moore drove baseline for an underneath stick to cut the deficit to 26-25. De’Quan Cross brought the Hornet faithful to their feet with a bucket that put GHS ahead 27-26 with just 1:34 showing, Glen Rose regained the lead at 29-27, but Cross came up big again moments later, taking a nice feed from Moore and driving the right lane to tie the game at 29-29 and sent it into overtime.
In OT, Glen Rose provided the first points, but Martin’s three and a pair of Massey free throws gave the Hornets a 34-31 lead with 0:36 on the clock. Down the stretch, Moore hit a crucial free throw and, like Cross, grabbed critical offensive rebounds off Hornet missed free throws to help preserve the win. The big rebounds, plus a tenacious defense that forced multiple turnovers and contested almost every Glen Rose shot, was the difference. “?Defense is what we hang our hat on,? Winkler said. ?We probably practice defense 75 percent of the time and in a game like that it shows.?

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