In the last nine meetings between the Forrest Lady Rockets and the Community Viqueens, dating back to December of 2004, the average margin of victory for Forrest over Community has been 26.3 points per game.
Those nine wins in a row came easy, gaining victory number ten in a row would not be even close to being easy as the game came down to the final seconds before Forrest pulled out the road win Friday night in Unionville 41-39 to stay unbeaten in District 9A at 4-0.
Forrest junior stand-out Beth Hawn suffered a concussion in the contest, hitting her head on the floor, hustling after a loose ball in the fourth period. Hawn passed out in the locker room after the game and had to be transported by ambulance to Williamson Medical Center. Hawn, who went home with her parents, suffered a mild concussion and will be out of action this weekend in Wayne County.
Megan Porter came up huge once again for Forrest, tallying 16 points in the ballgame, leading all scorers. Porter was big in the blocks with several big rebounds and put-backs, but was even bigger from the free throw line late, nailing four of four in one and one situations down the stretch, staving off a determined Community squad.
"It was an exciting game", Porter said in the post game interview. "We had some scary moments, but we pulled through."
Asked about the clutch free throw shooting, Porter responded, "I try to think of it as practice. I just try to block out all the noise and hit the shots because I know how much it helps your team."
Hawn secured the opening tip and Forrest's Bequi Bussell picked up just where she left off in Wartrace, draining a three-pointer in the Lady Rockets' first possession.
The teams traded buckets to make it 5-2, before Community's Marissa Jones scored after a tie-up. Jessica Thompson gave the Viqueens a 7-5 lead, draining her lone three-pointer of the game.
Hawn scored in the paint to make it 7-7, but was matched by Courtney Vassar for a 9-7 Viqueen lead.
Hawn went to the free-throw line after a Community miss, making the first toss, but missed the second attempt. Porter cut in, grabbing the errant free-throw and laid it back in, getting fouled on the put-back. Porter made the charity shot, putting Forrest up 11-9.
Jones scored on the other end to tie the game at eleven, where it remained at quarter's end.
The game was tied at 15-15 with just less than four minutes to go in the half when Bussell streaked down the lane, grabbed a rebound off of a missed shot and laid it in to make it 17-15.
Community missed down the other end and the ball bounced to corner where Adrean Jordan grabbed it, but was surrounded by Viqueens. Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean called a heads-up timeout to save the possession with 2:50 left in the half.
After the timeout, Porter scored on a great rebound, going up and under for the basket in the lane to give Forrest a 19-15 lead.
The Viqueens tied the game on consecutive buckets before a Thea Ledbetter jumper made it 21-19 FHS.
After a Community turnover, Jean yelled out a set play from the bench that set up a Summer Waggoner three-bomb that scorched the cords, giving the road team a 24-19 halftime lead.
Forrest maintained the lead throughout the entire third period, holding a three-point margin at 30-27 after twenty-four minutes.
After misses at both ends, beginning the fourth quarter, Amanda Daughrity floated home a jumper for a 32-27 lead.
Vassar scored for Community to cut it to three and after a Forrest miss, Megan Bussbee scored from down low to cut the led to just one point at 32-31.
Jones went to the line for Community for two shots, nailing the first, but missing the second to tie the game at 32 with 5:02 left.
Forrest missed on their end, but Hawn was there for a big blocked shot and scored down the other end to make it 34-32. Hawn stole the ball on the next Viqueen touch and was fouled. Porter scored on another put-back, stretching the margin to four.
Community called timeout with 2:33 to play, but squandered the chalk board play when Porter stepped in front of a pass in the lane for a steal. Porter was fouled, sending her to line for a big one and one with 1:59 left. Porter stepped up to the line with an icy stare, draining both, straight down the well.
Porter came back to the line with 1:11 left, repeating her clutch effort, giving the Lady Rockets an eight point lead at 40-32.
Community got back in the game on some Forrest missed free throws, but a desperation three-pointer as the clocked ticked to zero fell short, sending Forrest off to Wayne County to face Collinwood tonight, followed by a re-match the Lady Rockets have been waiting for with Wayne County on Monday.
The Lady Cats ended Forrest's season last year, eliminating the Lady Rockets with a 59-50 win in the first round of the state tournament.