G.F. Tigers ousted as tourney play toughens

Monday, December 19, 2005
Green Forest's LaRae Jones leaped for this rebound, then had to fight off Valley Springs' Paige Blackburn to keep it when she hit the ground. Teammate Phylicia Shelton, at left, was ready to help out, but kept hands off. Blackburn lost this fight, but went on to score 16 points and lead the Valley Lady Tigers to a 44-39 victory. David McNeal/Carroll County News

GREEN FOREST -- The host Tigers and Lady Tigers were eliminated from their 49th Annual Green Forest Holiday Tournament during Wednesday's action, while the Eureka Springs Highlanders defeated Omaha to advance to Thursday's game against the Huntsville Eagles.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14

Eureka boys vs. Omaha

10-4, 20-16, 34-22, 47-41

The Highlanders started out ahead and stayed there, although Omaha's Kendon Underwood threw a scare into them when he made three 3-point shots in a row in the fourth to pull to within 38-35.

Eureka's Jordan Parsons and Josiah Price answered with a basket and two free throws, then the Highlanders made 7 of 8 at the line in the final minute to seal the win.

Eureka hit 20 of 26 free throws, 9 of 12 in the fourth, while Omaha was 13 of 18, 9 of 10 in the fourth.

Paul Sebby scored 20 for Eureka and was a perfect 6 of 6 at the line, and kept the Omaha defense off balance with his slashing runs to the basket.

John Kniess, playing his first game after a foot injury, had 7 blocks and teamed with Waylon Wolfinbarger to neutralize Omaha's big men.

Josiah Price scored 9 points and hit two big free throws with 30 seconds to go to keep Eureka ahead 44-41.

Scoring- ES- Sebby- 20, 6/6 Fts; Price- 9, 4/6 Fts; Wolfinbarger- 8; Parsons- 5; 2's- Kniess, 7B, & Seth McCormick; David Farber- 1. Team- 20/26 Fts., 9/12 4th. OM- Pritchard- 12, 2 3s; Underwood- 11, 3 3s; Ellis- 7, 5/9 Fts; Huffman- 7; Richardson- 4. Team- 13/18 Fts., 9/10 4th.

Green Forest girls vs. Valley

9-12, 18-15, 23-31, 39-44

This game came down to Valley Springs' senior All-State transfer Paige Blackburn, who scored 16 points, including 2 3-pointers, but more importantly used her 5-11 height to beat the Green Forest press that is their lifeblood.

Trapped any number of times, Blackburn would find a teammate with a crisp pass over Green Forest's shorter players and get her team out of trouble.

A Valley Springs 13-0 run off their press to start the second half wiped out Green Forest's 18-15 halftime lead and they never recovered, although they kept intense pressure on the Valley girls to the end.

A full court pass to Green Forest's Kamarra Hoppe for a layup cut Valley's lead to 38-31 with three minutes left in the game, but Valley slowed the frantic pace and shot free throws for the win.

Tori Allen gave one last effort for her team when she hit a halfcourt shot at the final buzzer to get Green Forest within five points, 44-39.

Scoring- GF- Amelia Villines- 10; Allen- 8; Courtney Ruff- 5; Danielle Camper- 4; 3's- Kimberlee Watson, LaRae Jones; 2's- Kasey Barinsky, Hoppe, Haley Roney. Team- 6/7 Fts. VS- Blackburn- 16, 2 3s; Whitney Meek- 13, 3 3s; Katy Jones- 12. Team- 5/12 Fts.

Gr. Forest boys vs. Bergman

17-18, 24-36, 36-54, 44-64

The Tigers went up 6-2 with a quick start, but the Panthers weren't rattled and turned up their offense the second quarter to outscore Green Forest 18-7.

Coach Bill Niven's team kept hustling all game, but had too many turnovers and fouls to pull out the win.

"We made 10 twos and Bergman hit 11, we had five threes and Bergman had seven, so we matched them pretty good there," Coach Bill Niven said, "but we were 9 of 17 at the line and Bergman was 21 of 28.

"We have to sustain our play over a longer period, play four quarters like we did the first one. Bergman stepped up their defense the second quarter and we didn't step up with them. That's a credit to Bergman."

Scoring- GF- Zac Sutton- 10; 7's- Cody Demeyer, Guy Joubert; Justin Reece- 6; Josh Dudley- 5; Adam Plagge- 4; Kyle Kleffman- 3; Lucas Graham- 2. BG- Matthew Manes- 14; Eli Nichols- 13; MIchael Edmondson- 12; Andrew Nance- 12.

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