Green Forest girls facing off-court tragedy

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Green Forest Lady Tigers endured a weekend full of sorrow, and virtually none of it had anything to do with numbers on a scoreboard.

First, Green Forest lost junior Carlee Smothers to a knee injury in Friday’s loss at Lincoln. A few hours later, the father of former Green Forest players Keylen and Kassidy Bell died in a single-vehicle accident south of town.

“It’s just a big Green Forest family,” Farrar said. “Those two were like all the kids who play for me — they’re like my kids. And those two, especially, because Kassidy and my daughter Ashley are attached at the hip. So it’s just been a rough go of it.”

In her first season at Green Forest after transferring from Western Grove, Smothers had provided an offensive boost for the Lady Tigers. She scored 31 points in a homecoming victory over Greenland on Jan. 22 and had eight points in a 57-34 loss to West Fork on Tuesday, Jan. 26 before going down early in the third quarter of Friday night’s 42-33 loss to Greenland. Senior Maddie Youngblood led Green Forest with 12 points against West Fork.

Farrar said Smothers, who had successfully returned from a torn ACL in her other knee, was scheduled to see a doctor Monday. He said the rest of the Lady Tigers did their best to carry on without her against Lincoln.

“Even after Carlee went down,they stepped up and they played their guts out,” he said. “They were all worried about her. We had our chances. But I’m proud of the kids to be able to stay focused through an injury to one of their teammates when they know it might not be good. There’s not anything more I can ask of the kids than what they’ve given us. That’s what we’re hanging our hats on. They just keep fighting.”

Green Forest will play at Bergman on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers were scheduled to play at Deer on Saturday but that game has been canceled pending funeral arrangements for Robert Bell.

“We weren’t going to do that to our kids,” Farrar said.

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