Tigers building momentum down stretch
Coming into this season, Green Forest coach Shane Compton believed his team had a chance to be competitive in the 3A-1 conference.
The Tigers have had some bright moments, but they’ve also struggled at times with multiple players missing games because of COVID-19 protocols. Compton said last week he hasn’t had his full roster available for a single game this season.
Even with those obstacles, though, the Tigers seem to be peaking at the right time.
Green Forest won two of three games last week, shaking off a hard-fought 61-54 loss at Elkins on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to beat West Fork 52-43 in a makeup game the following night at Grim Gym and then closing out the week with a 58-26 homecoming victory over Greenland on Friday night.
Despite the loss at Elkins, Compton said the Tigers played perhaps their best game of the week, and the numbers support that claim. Green Forest shot 59.5 percent from the floor and made 8 of 13 three-point attempts. Elkins hung on thanks to 11 offensive rebounds and 23 points off Green Forest turnovers.
“It was a three point game at their place with 30 seconds left,” Compton said. “That was a game we could have won.”
Senior Daniel McDonald led Green Forest with 19 points while Ali Cabrera added 17 and Adrian Serna scored 12.
In the win over West Fork, Green Forest scored 16 fourth-quarter points after the third quarter ended in a 36-36 tie. Green Forest made nine three-pointers, including four in the first quarter by Isaac Demeyer. McDonald finished with 13 points while Demeyer added 12.
The Tigers capped the week by dominating Greenland on Friday to finish a season sweep. McDonald poured in 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field.
Still, Compton said the Tigers have yet to play a game at full strength.
“No, not yet,” he said Monday. “Hopefully we’ll have everybody there tomorrow. It’s day to day is, Every time the phone rings, you’re waiting for somebody to tell you that they’re not going to be here.”
While McDonald has taken on much of the scoring load, Compton said the Tigers are coming together as a team.
“They’ve been playing pretty well as a group, and I think they’re kind of they’re starting to figure out what their role is on the team.”
Compton said the Tigers can especially benefit from solid outside shooting from players like Cabrera, Serna and Demeyer to free space on the inside for McDonald and junior post Jordan McLoud.
“We’ve been shooting the ball quite a bit better,” Compton said. “Ali has been shooting the ball well. Adrian can shoot the ball well. And Isaac Demeyer came in the other night against West Fork and made four threes in the first quarter. So if we can get those kids to to shoot the ball from outside, that’s going to open it up more for Jordan and and Daniel, because right now, most teams are just trying to pack it in on us.”
Green Forest will play a pair of road games this week, traveling to West Fork on Tuesday and Lincoln on Friday.