Forrst turns over State crown
by Antony S. Puca
19-0 run does
Lady Rockets in
The Gleason Lady Bulldogs turned the tables on the Lady Rockets Wednesday afternoon as they forced twelve first half turnovers en route to a 19-0 first quarter run and an eventual 53-28 quarterfinal victory.
"We have only played two games like this all year, Lawrence County and Upperman," FHS head coach Robby Reasonover stated. The Lady Rockets scored only six first half points, were continually pressured into bad decisions, and could not stop Kayla Hudson.
Hudson had 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and three assists as she solidified her spot as the frontrunner for the 2007 Class A Miss Basketball Award. Hudson's biggest contender, Abby Andrews of Collinwood fouled out after scoring 21 points in her team's 58-43 loss versus Trinity Christian.
Gleason came into the game at 33-1, playing a style so reminiscent of what helped the Lady Rockets earn the state title last year. They played a half court trapping defense that looked like seven players on floor. Forrest never made the adjustments necessary to break the code and by the time halftime came, the game was for all purposes over.
"We played hard," Reasonover said, "but we made bad decisions and displayed bad patience in the first half." Trailing 28-6 after the first half, the Lady Rockets came out in the second half and tried to make some runs at Gleason, but just could never put it together long enough to make a serious dent in the deficit.
Gleason's lead was never less than 19 points in the second half as Hudson and the Lady Bulldogs made sure they would not let the defending champions back in the game as they secured the 53-28 victory and ended the Lady Rockets title defense.
Kalah Mathis goes out with class
"We are still young", said juniors Gaby Bussell and Ayla Young in the pressroom after game, "We will work harder next year." The Lady Rockets graduate only one senior, Kalah Mathis who has been an integral part of the highly successful program for four years.
"Kalah has been a big part of us; she gave her knee up for us" Bussell and Young proudly stated after the game. Reasonover was also quick to add, "Kalah has been an inspiration to all of us. Her character is second to none and she is always encouraging others and always positive. Kalah has been a good leader for the past 4 years."
The Lady Rocket's state championship victory and their stellar season long title defense has been an exciting two years of basketball. The girls from Chapel Hill should be highly commended for the dedication and effort that goes into reaching the level of play that few teams ever realize. There is no doubt that Forrest will back with a vengeance next year, returning the entire line-up and having a full stable of talented under-classmen waiting to contribute.