Green Forest advances to regionals with win in 1-3A tournament

Friday, February 21, 2014
Clayton Watson elevates over a trio of Greenland defenders in Tuesday's 1-3A Conference Tournament win. (Chan Davis / Carroll County News)

GREENLAND -- Green Forest earned a spot in next week's regional tournament at Elkins with a 57-34 win over Greenland in the opening round of the 1-3A Conference Tournament on Tuesday.

The Tigers will be the No. 4 seed entering the regional event after dropping a 59-50 decision to Cedarville on Wednesday. Green Forest coach Brandon Stone said the Tigers are happy to be playing next week. But that's not enough.

"They feel like they have a chance to extend the season," Stone said. "Last year they were just happy to be there. They want to keep playing this year. They have a different demeanor. They are starting to buy in and believe. As a coach that's all I can ask for."

Green Forest takes a 5-16 record into regionals after the win over Greenland and the loss to Cedarville. Dalton Coffey led the Tigers in scoring on Wednesday with 14 points while Clayton Watson added 11, Jordyn Mullins nine and Brandon Hogan seven.

Stone said the Tigers handled themselves well in the tournament despite the loss to top-ranked Cedarville.

"We played extremely well defensively," Stone said. "We took the best player in our conference and shut him down in the first half. I feel like we gained some confidence. But we missed double digit shots from the paint. We need to score from close range. We just couldn't get it to fall."

Green Forest slowed the tempo in the first half as Cedarville led 12-6 in the first period and 26-21 at the half. After a six-point production in the third quarter, the Tigers started hitting shots in the fourth, scoring 23 points in the final stanza.

"We finally started hitting some shots," Stone said. "We just waited until the fourth to do it. We missed a bunch of easy early on. Then we sped our tempo back up in the fourth. We tried to slow it down early to give us a shot. We just couldn't make enough shots to stay close enough."

Brackets for the regional tournament will be released when district tournaments wrap up on Saturday. It's the second year in a row for the Tigers to advance past the district tournament.

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