GF wins its first game of season

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Green Forest Tiger basketball team got its first win on Monday, beating Lead Hill, 63-54, in the first round of the Omaha Border Classic.

"The kids have been working hard, so it's good to finally see their hard work pay off," Green Forest coach Donnie Smith said.

Green Forest had a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but going into the second quarter Smith said he felt as if his team became complacent, which allowed Lead Hill to take a 25-23 lead at halftime.

"We kind of got comfortable and just eased up on our defense," Smith said. "We let Lead Hill make a couple outside shots, which let them back in it."

Green Forest scored 22 points in the third quarter. Clayton Smith and Hayden Bailey each scored six points in the third quarter to help give Green Forest a 45-38 lead going into the fourth quarter. Brandon Burdge finished the game with 21 points for Green Forest, while Rhett Powell had 12 and Ian Nelson scored 11.

"Most of Brandon's points came off of steals and breakaway transition layups," Smith said. "Clayton, Rhett and Ian all played well. It was good seeing us spread the ball around like that."

Kingston 66, Green Forest 41

Green Forest was unable to duplicate Monday's success at Kingston on Tuesday. Green Forest was tied 11-11 with the Yellowjackets at the end of the first quarter, but the Tigers were outscored 21-9 in the second quarter and trailed 32-20 at halftime.

"We struggled getting in our offense and struggled scoring," Smith said. "We turned the ball over too many times and didn't play well on defense."

Kingston led 50-29 entering the fourth quarter, but Smith said he was glad to see Clayton Smith and Burdge have good games offensively, as the duo combined to score 31 points.

"Those two are going to help offensively," Smith said. "I think Kingston did a good job of preparing for Rhett, so it kind of limited him. He still go eight points, but they were tough ones."

On Thursday, Green Forest played Omaha in the semifinals of the Omaha Border Classic. The Eagles beat Green Forest by 28 earlier this year, but Smith is confident his team learned from that loss.

"Hopefully we learned from that first game," Smith said. "That way we can be a little bit better prepared for them and at least give them a good game and make them work for it."

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