Nothing goes right for GF in loss

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Green Forest Tigers couldn't get much to go right Wednesday night in a 47-34 semifinal loss to Greenland in the Green Forest Holiday Tournament.

"The kids play hard and they never gave up," Green Forest coach Donnie Smith said. "They got a little discouraged. I know I did. We just couldn't seem to get a break, but they still buckled down and played hard. They didn't get out of control or go too crazy. We just missed some shots. That's part of the game. When you miss the shots they give you, it makes it tough."

The Pirates led 26-25 going into the fourth quarter and Greenland extended its lead to 36-28 before a Clayton Smith three-pointer trimmed the lead to five for the Tigers midway through the fourth quarter. That was as close as the Tigers got, though, as Greenland went 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the closing minutes to get the victory. Greenland was 9 of 12 in the fourth quarter.

"The biggest thing that we have to do is get better at our defense," Smith said. "We do a good job of hustling and working, but we don't play smart defense and we end up fouling a lot. We have to get better at that because I get guys in foul trouble and we have a short bench. Those guys have to get better at playing defense and staying out of foul trouble."

Green Forest led 8-3 at the end of the first quarter. Brandon Burdge scored four points. Rhett Powell made two free throws to open the second-quarter scoring, but Greenland went on a 10-0 run to take a 13-10 lead with 3:13 remaining in the first half. A basket from Clayton Smith and Powell kept the game within one possession at halftime, as the Pirates led 18-16.

A basket by Hayden Bailey midway through the third quarter tied the game at 20-20 and a basket by Powell gave the Tigers a 25-24 lead with 1:34 remaining in the quarter. That was the last lead Green Forest held in the game.

Green Forest (3-6) played Mount Judea on Thursday for a chance to play in the third-place game on Saturday.

That's a quick turnaround," Smith said. "I won't have a chance to do a lot of running, but we will be doing a lot of shooting. Just going over a game plan for them. They have a heck of a player in (Trenton Royce) and we just have to do a good job limiting the number of touches he gets to score. If we do that, we give us a pretty good chance."

Powell finished the game with 17 points and Burdge had eight.

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