The Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets got their revenge from an opening night loss to the Whitthorne Lady Tigers with a 29-24 victory.
The tough early match-ups are now two out of three in favor of the Lady Rockets as they move to 2-1 on the season.
Forrest, playing on consecutive nights used a strong defensive effort to corral the highflying Lady Tigers down the stretch.
"The key to victory tonight was our defense," FMS Head Coach Sherry Jones said after the game. "We ran the triangle and two and made adjustments during the game."
Jones rotated players the entire game to keep the Lady Tigers under control with Mandi Conley, Hannah Phifer, and Scarlett Roberson teaming up with starters Brittni Perryman and Katie Skinner at the guard position to contain Whitthorne.
"Mandi (Conley) really stepped up when her name was called tonight, Jones said; she contained their top scorer in the fourth quarter."
Jordan, Skinner emerge as leaders for Jones
On offense, the Lady Rockets got another solid effort from stand-out Adrean Jordan, who controlled the low post the entire game, scoring 17 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, and blocking three shots. Jordan has led the Lady Rockets in scoring in their first three games, averaging 14.3 points per game.
Katie Skinner quarterbacked the offense from the point guard spot as the Lady Rockets only turned the ball over seven times on the night. Skinner was instrumental in breaking the press and ran the offense to precision.
"Katie is my quarterback; she is the one that has to get the girls in our offense and defense on the floor. She has really stepped up as one of my team leaders," Jones proudly said.
The Lady Rockets trailed 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, but came back to lead 14-11 at the half. They stretched their lead to six at the end of the third quarter, 23-17 and then held fast versus a charging Whitthorne squad for the five-point victory.
Rockets make valiant effort, fall in late Tiger comeback
The FMS Rockets looked like a different team than the one that lost by 19 points last week to the Whitthorne Tigers in Chapel Hill. The Rockets went to Columbia with revenge on their minds and had it for the most part as they led the entire game, before committing some costly fourth quarter turnovers that gave the Tigers a chance to comeback and win 47-40.
The Rockets (1-2) never trailed in the first quarter as they took a 13-8 lead into the second period. Whitthorne gave Forrest some signs of things to come as they came up with a late charge to pull within two at the half, 23-21.
The Rockets stayed the course in the third quarter, keeping the lead at three points going into the final six minutes. Whitthorne began to chip away at the lead and took over at 38-37 with just over three minutes to play.
A fast break bucket by Zach Ray on a pass from Colby Anglin at 3:01 pushed the Rockets back up by two at 40-39, but the Tigers outscored FMS seven to one the rest of the way for the 47-40 victory.
Ray led the Rockets in scoring for the third consecutive night with 18 points. Dillon Dowler, Marshall Hunter, Richard Hardin, Zack Horvath, and Logan Wheeler all had four.
FMS played Cascade last night in Wartrace and travels to E.A. Cox on Monday.