Tigers unable to overcome rocky start at home

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Clayton Watson led the Tigers with 15 points at home Friday against Cedarville. (Trevor Tegley / www.tegleyphotography.com)

GREEN FOREST -- Green Forest continues to trade punches with the top teams in the league. But the Tigers can't seem to deliver the final blow.

Cedarville escaped with a 57-44 win over Green Forest on Friday after vaulting to a 17-9 lead at the end of the opening period. After that, the Tigers (3-12, 1-3) went up against the top team in 1-3A Conference until the final buzzer.

"We went toe to toe with the top team in the conference but couldn't make a free throw," Green Forest coach Brandon Stone said. "We missed 16 free throws and had it to a six-point game with two minutes left. We have to figure out how to make free throws and close out teams."

To close out tough teams, the Tigers need to get off to a better start, according to Stone.

"Once we got on track we stayed with them," Stone said. "Take the first quarter out of the equation and it's a tight game. You have that one possession where you come down the floor and need that one bucket to change the tide of the game and we can't be patient and get that good shot."

Clayton Watson led the Tigers with 15 points while Gavin Nelson added 10. Daulton Coffey finished with seven.

"Clayton was demanding the ball and was very aggressive," Stone said. "He played probably his best game of the year. They couldn't guard him. He just needs to make his free throws. And Gavin played a big game. He had a four-point play in the fourth to help us get close. Brandon Hogan played well on defense. He was guarding their better perimeter players all night.

"The boys are playing well. They are proving they can play with any team in the conference. We still just need to win one of these close games."

The Tigers host West Fork tonight.

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