The Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets snapped their two-game losing streak in a big way, hammering the E. A. Cox Lady Cougars 42-12 in Chapel Hill Monday night.
Forrest head coach Jessica Inlow had a plan and it worked to perfection.
Inlow's game plan was to go directly into a 2-2-1 defensive press from the opening whistle and never let up.
The Lady Rockets executed the press from the get go, forcing the Lady Cougars into a slew of turnovers, wearing them out along the way.
"The big difference in the game was that we started out pressing from the get go and never let up," said FMS head coach Jessica Inlow. "No matter what they did tonight, we were going to stick to the game plan."
Besides the swarming press, when the E. A. Cox did get the ball up court, Candace Daughrity was a monster in the paint, blocking four shots.
The score was 6-6 after the buzzer ended the first period.
Fatigue from the Forrest press began to wear on the Lady Cougars in the second period and the shots began to drop for the home team.
Scarlett Roberson, who led all scorers with 11 points scored on a jumper to make it 8-6. Daughrity stole the rock from the Lady Cats and went the distance for a 10-6 lead.
Hannah Phifer did the same on the next Cox possession and moments later, Daughrity put in a rebound follow to make it 14-6.
Leisa Butler scored the only bucket in the period for the Lady Cougars and then Forrest turned up the defensive pressure one more notch, leading 24-8 at halftime.
The Forrest defense held in the third period, causing the six minutes to be a low scoring affair and they led 30-12 after three periods.
What happened next does not occur very often in basketball games at any level.
The Lady Rockets never let up and buried Cox's offense, shutting them out throughout the final six minutes while scoring ten points on offense to breeze to the 30 point win.
The balanced Forrest scoring attack was highlighted by Roberson's 11 points, followed by Phifer with 10, Mandi Conley scored 8, Daughrity finished with 7, Amanda Chumbley had four points in the paint, and Julie Macey scored 2.
"We needed a big win to get our confidence up," said Inlow, whose team moved to 2-4 on the season.
The coach added, "Finally, all the effort and hard work paid off. They did all the little things right tonight. We have a tough team (Summertown) that beat us already this year coming in Friday night and we owe them."
Rockets continue white-hot steak
The Forrest Middle School Rockets (5-1) are white-hot and the E. A. Cox Cougars became the latest victim of head coach Robby Reasonover's all out blitz in the defensive end of the court.
The game started as all the Rockets' games have begun this season, with a wall to wall pressing defense that forced turnovers from the Cougars, leading to open court baskets by the athletic Rockets.
Before the Cougars could take a breath, the Rockets led 13-0 behind the stellar defensive effort and the hot hand of Dakota Zimmerman, who scored 5 points, including a long three-bomb that forced Cox to take a timeout with two minutes left in the quarter.
Antonio Sparkman nailed one free throw to get the Cougars on the board before Jacob Daughrity drained another three to make it 16-1 after the first six minutes.
The Rockets were relentless beginning the second quarter, starting with another three-pointer by Zimmerman, followed by another basket by the eighth grader.
Mark Pope got into the long-range act, burying a three-pointer to make it 24-1. Pope stole the ball on Cox' s next touch and took it the distance for a 26-1 lead.
Cox got on the board again to make it 26-3 before the Rockets went on another 10-2 run, capped by a buzzer beater by Daughrity for a huge 36-5 halftime lead.
Reasonover's starters did not play at all in the second half and the second and third teams did a great job continuing the game plan.
Lucas Pruitt scored 5 points with some fine play in the paint for the Rockets during the second half, Caleb Keller ran the point, and Ty Hoeft, Parker Stacey, Tyler Rumley, Amani Phipps, and Wes Stringfield all took advantage of the extra playing time.
"Cox was undermanned tonight," said Reasonover in the post-game interview. "They had some injuries, some sickness, and some disciplinary problems and we took advantage of that. It was good to see some of the younger players step up. We have got to be a balanced team. I think we are starting to gel and shake some of the football rust off."
Daughrity led all scorers with 13 points, Zimmerman had 12, Pope scored 7, Pruitt netted 5, Rumley 4, Lamb and Keller had 2 points, and Hoeft hit one free throw.