Lady Rockets smother Culleoka
Great teams take care of business when they have to and that is just what the second ranked Forrest Lady Rockets did Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, smothering the under-matched Culleoka Lady Warriors 63-11 to move to 18-2 on the season.
Forrest forced 19 first half turnovers, converting the Culleoka miscues into points, mostly by senior Megan Porter who scored all of her team high 19 points in the first half blitzkrieg on eight fast break lay-ups and three foul shots.
Porter also had four steals in the half to lead a defensive dismantling of the Lady Warriors. Heather Fitzgerald scored for Culleoka at the 4:26 mark of the first period before the Lady Rockets shut them out for the rest of the first half and led 41-2.
In two meetings this season, Forrest has outscored Culleoka 134-29.
Asked what his team could take out of such a drubbing, FHS head coach Jeremy Jean said, "What we can learn from this is that we have to have a constant level of intensity. I thought we came out a little flat tonight and that puts a little fear in me. But the more I think about it, the more I think it is OK because of the emotional week we had."
Jean went to his bench for the entire second half, getting a good luck at the future for Forrest and he was pleased with what he saw as the youngsters continued the rout.
"That is what is exciting about this team, the future is bright," said Jean. "The talent is there and it is my job to get them ready. They all know how to win, it is in their blood."
Jean handed out two jerseys before the contest to Megan Miller and Jillian Blanchette and both played well with Blanchette scoring her first varsity points on a bucket in the fourth quarter.
"Those two jerseys will be there the rest of the season," said Jean. "Those two filled them tonight and they will continue to be filled by whoever works the hardest in practice. They understand that all of them may not a chance to wear one."
The progression of freshman Adrean Jordan is right on schedule as the talented young post player played most of the game, scoring 17 points and blocking three shots.
The Lady Rockets also got 8 points from Beth Hawn, 6 from Taylour Allen, 5 from Thea Ledbetter, including one three-pointer, and 2 points each from Blanchette, Haley Mathis, Hannah Ledbetter, and the talented freshman point guard Christina Curtner.
The Lady Rockets take on Cascade Friday night at Chapel Hill and are inching closer to clinching the District 9-A regular season title. Forrest has a two-game lead over MTCS with just four league games remaining, including a trip to Murfreesboro on Feb. 3.
The Lady Rockets, undefeated at home this season, have lost just twice, both road games at number one Clarkrange (21-0) on opening night and to Collinwood in Waynesboro.
"I look for them to continue to take care of business," said Jean after the game. "It is Cascade first. They are capable of beating us if we don't play the way we are capable of playing."
Jean added, "As far as Clarkrange. We want to play them again, because if we do, it means we are in the state tournament. We want that winner take all game, we have no pressure on us. No one was even expecting us to be where we are, except for us. There is no pressure."