Lady Tigers show grit in 4-game grind

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Green Forest senior Maddie Youngblood wins a jump ball in a game earlier this season against Lead Hill. The Lady Tigers played four games last week.
Charles Chappell /

The Green Forest Lady Tigers crammed a lot of basketball into a short time last week, and coach Kyle Farrar said he was thrilled with the effort his team showed.

The highlight of the grueling stretch that saw Green Forest play four games between Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon was a 51-29 homecoming victory over Greenland Friday night at Grim Gym.

Junior Carlee Smothers fueled the Green Forest offense, making six three-point shots and scoring 31 points. Smothers scored 20 points in the second half, including 11 in the fourth quarter as the Lady Tigers outscored Greenland 32-16 after leading by six points at halftime.

Senior Maddie Youngblood and junior Samantha Delavin added eight points apiece for Green Forest, which finished with eight three-pointers.

“We got some really, really hot shooting Friday night, which was good to see,” Farrar said. “And it helped out a lot. But the kids played really hard all week. They really did.”

Earlier in the week, Green Forest lost at home to Elkins 55-32 on Tuesday, then lost to West Fork 50-41 in a makeup game on Wednesday as Youngblood and Delavin scored 12 points each and Smothers added 10. West Fork outscored Green Forest 16-7 in the fourth quarter to get the victory.

“It was a dogfight throughout,” Farrar said. “They got away from us in the fourth quarter a little bit. … We’re two pretty even teams. They just made a few more plays at the end.”

On Friday, before the homecoming victory over Greenland, Farrar praised his team’s grit in the losses to Elkins and West Fork.

“If I’m looking at the entire season and even the ones where we won, that’s the two hardest games that I’ve watched these kids play all year. The effort was there. Everything was there. The execution a lot of the time was there.”

Farrar missed four games after testing positive for COVID-19, although he said he never exhibited any symptoms. He returned for the Elkins game.

“Other than a couple of games when I was asked to leave by a striped official and couldn’t be there the next game, two times over the past 20 years, that’s the first four games I’ve missed in 25 years of my kids

playing,” Farrar said. “So that was really, really, really tough on me, the kids, (assistant coach Ben) West, everybody. But I mean, they stayed through and fought all the way through and I’m really proud of them for doing that. And then to see to see how hard they played when I’ve gotten back. It’s a really good thing. Sometimes we’re not going to be the most athletic team or the biggest team or anything, but those kids fought their tails off in both those games this week and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”

On Saturday, Green Forest played a makeup game at Bergman. The Lady Panthers, whom MaxPreps ranks third in the state in Class 3A, beat the Lady Tigers 60-17. Youngblood led Green Forest with nine points.

Green Forest’s schedule won’t be as demanding this week, although the Lady Tigers will play two road games — at West Fork on Tuesday and at Lincoln on Friday.

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