FMS girls defeat Moore County in OT
by Anthony S. Puca
The Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets (2-1) hosted the Moore County Raiderettes Thursday night in an early season match up that had all the drama of a late season playoff game. The Lady Rockets captured an overtime thriller 45-39 in a game that had had more twists and turns than the rural roads the Moore County bus traversed to arrive at Chapel Hill.
The beginning of the game was a feeling out process for both teams as the action went from end to end in a high energy first quarter that was dominated by Lady Rocket guard Christina Curtner and her counterpart from Moore County, Andrea Garland. Forrest managed to take a 16-13 lead into the second quarter when Garland got hot and Forrest started to dig themselves a hole with foul trouble that gave Moore County the advantage at the free throw line. Lady Rocket standout Kim Rochester picked up her third personal foul by mid-quarter and had to go to the bench. Garland seemed to throw the ball down from all angles and finished the half with eight points to give the visiting Raiderettes a 23-22 lead at the halftime break.
Forrest started the second half with a steal by Christina Curtner, but the Lady Rockets could not take advantage and Moore County played with great poise to hold off the home team. Things did not seem well for the Rockets when Rochester picked up her fourth personal foul and the Raiderettes held steady to lead at the end of the third quarter 29-27. The fourth quarter began with Moore County taking control of the ballgame and seemingly putting the game away with Garland scoring on three consecutive trips down the floor to stretch their lead to as many as eight points with 4:21 left. Christina Curtner asserted herself again and scored on consecutives buckets while her sister Anna Curtner made a huge play with just over two minutes to play to pull the Lady Rockets to within three points and ignite the home crowd. The moment of truth for Moore County came at the 1:52 mark when Garland fouled out of the game.
Missy Minor hit one of the free throws to pull the Lady Rockets within two points to turn the heat up on the visitors. Another foul on Moore County put Christina Curtner at the line where she hit two pressure packed free throws to pull the home squad even 38-38. When Megan Miller stole the ball with 14 seconds it looked like Forrest would have a chance at a last shot, but the official called her for traveling as she fell to the floor. That gave Moore County a last second desperation shot to win the game in regulation, but they were stymied by the Lady Rocket defense and failed to get off a shot before the final buzzer that sent the teams into an overtime period.
Megan miller opened the scoring for Forrest in the overtime and after a turnover by each team, the Lady Rockets made a single foul shot on consecutives fouls by the Raiderettes to stretch the lead to four points. Moore County scored their final point from the free throw line and Forrest sealed the victory two baskets by Jillian Blanchett to make the final score 45-39 and allow the home team to even their record at 2-2. Lady Rocket Christina Curtner finished wit 26 points and Raiderette seventh grader Garland filled the bucket for 23.