Lady Rockets one win from four straight to 'Boro'

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Megan Porter grabs the opening tip for the Lady Rockets. Porter would finish with 12 points in the ballgame. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets took the business women like approach in the Region 5-A title game versus McEwen at Eagleville Wednesday night and played like they have been there before, dismantling the Warriorettes in easy fashion 65-43.

The region title was the Lady Rockets' fourth in a row and a very important milestone in the scheme of making it four in a row to the 'Boro' next week for the Farm Bureau Insurance TSSAA Class A State Tournament.

Winning region titles has a big reward attached to it, a home sub-state game. Sectional games may be the toughest game to win in the post-season and hosting them is huge.

For Forrest senior leader Summer Waggoner that is all she knows, just three days away from appearing in all four and said after the game, "I think this is the most important game to win. I have never played a sub-state game on the road and I don't want to."

The Lady Rockets get a chance at redemption Saturday night in Chapel Hill at 7 pm when they take on the Wayne County Lady Cats, who lost to Cornersville 54-46.

Coach Rick Byrd and the Lady Wildcats bounced Forrest from the state tourney last year in the first round with a 59-50 win and the longtime coach will bring a prepared, but somewhat battered team to Forrest Saturday.

Forrest Coach Jeremy Jean knows it will be a battle saying, "Wayne County will come in well prepared, well coached, and ready to beat us."

Forrest defeated Wayne County earlier this season 59-50 and the teams have split four games since 2006.

After their big 50-41 win over MTCS on Monday, McEwen seemed ready at the start of the title game, taking an early 8-7 lead.

Megan Porter scored for Forrest and after a McEwen miss, Waggoner scored on a three-point play in the paint. Taylour Allen, usually a defensive specialist for Forrest, buried a three-pointer, capping off the eight point run that gave Forrest a 15-8 lead.

McEwen would stay in the game at 17-13 before Beth Hawn and Porter combined for 9 points at the end of the quarter, making the Forrest lead 24-13 at the end of the first period.

McEwen's Anna Stewart bookended two three-pointers outside of an Allen bucket bringing the Warriorettes to within seven points of Forrest early in the second quarter at 26-19.

Allen drilled another three from the right circle and Hawn scored on two straight possessions after McEwen misses, making the score 33-19, and forcing a McEwen timeout with 3:50 left in the first half.

The 14-point margin would remain the same at the halftime horn with Forrest leading, 37-23.

The Warriorettes still had some fight left in them beginning the second half as Miss Basketball candidate Andrea Hopson scored four straight in the paint, cutting the lead to 37-27.

Thea Ledbetter squelched the comeback, draining a long three-bomb.

Jean called timeout after the Ledbetter three to try to stop the pass to Hobson in then paint and it paid off when Hawn stepped in front of an interior pass attempt and took it the distance for a score.

Two possessions later, Porter stole the ball and fed Hawn who was fouled attempting a lay-in. Hawn canned both free throws, making the score 42-27. By the time the Lady Rockets were done with this game sealing burst, they led 46-27.

Forrest would lead 53-23, going into the final eight minutes and encountered no heavy threats in the period on the way to their twenty-two point victory, giving the Lady Rockets a 28-3 record on the season and an incredible 9-0 record in championship games the last four seasons.

Hawn led Forrest with 18 points, Porter scored 12 with one three, Allen scored 11 and had three treys, Waggoner netted 9 points, Ledbetter had two bombs and finished with 8 points, Bequi Bussell finished with 5 points and a block and score at the end of the second quarter that lit fuse of the traveling Forrest faithful, and freshman Adrean Jordan got in the scorebook with 2 points.

Hopson finished with 21 points for McEwen.

Hawn, Porter, and Waggoner were all voted to the all-region tournament team.