The Forrest Lady Rockets are just one win away from their sixth straight District 9A regular season title after disposing a temperamental MTCS squad 68-46 in Chapel Hill Tuesday night.
The two district foes have squared off in many of the big league games and region tournaments over the past four years and have a history, on and off the court.
Forrest junior Megan Miller said about the physicality after the game, "It was rough. It is always rough with them. It is a big competition between us two, it always has been the last two or three years."
Tuesday's win marked the 16th consecutive Forrest victory over MTCS, dating back to November 8, 2003.
The Lady Cougars were the aggressors early, staying on the Lady Rockets' heels until midway through the first quarter when Christina Curtner banged home consecutive three-pointers.
Beth Hawn followed with a blocked shot at the other end and the other talented Curtner twin Anna, drilled a long trey to put Forrest up 15-8.
Katie Mullins scored for MTCS to break the FHS streak, but at the other end, Taylour Allen banked home a three-pointer for an eight point, 18-10 Forrest lead.
MTCS in-bounded the ball to former Shelbyville and Forrest player Alex Martin, who dribbled up near mid-court where Allen was waiting.
Allen knocked the ball loose and went after it.
Martin grabbed Allen by the neck and was whistled for an intentional technical foul as the two players mixed it up on the floor.
Allen went to the line and drilled both foul shots as Martin went to the bench with her team down 20-10.
Miller said about the Martin play, "When you see a teammate get hammered and put in a headlock it pumps you up. We are all really close and we are not going to let anybody pick on our teammates. That is just not the way we work. There is always a lot of emotion, but I like the way we don't let ours get out of control like that."
Mullions scored on a late bucket, making it 20-12 at the end of the first period, but the die was set.
The Lady Rockets came out smoking in the second period, beginning with a Christina Curtner drive to the hoop for a score.
Allen swiped the rock again and fed Christina Curtner, who stepped back and drilled another three-pointer for a 25-12 Forrest lead.
Beth Hawn would score six straight points to four for MTCS and all of a sudden, the Lady Rockets led by fifteen at 31-16.
The Lady Cougars fought back and trailed by ten, 36-26 at the half.
MTCS came out re-charged in the third period, cutting the Forrest lead to 37-31 midway through the quarter.
Miller made two free throws to stop the MTCS run and once again Hawn spurred her team on, stealing the rock from the Lady Cougars and racing down court for a pretty pull-up jumper in the lane, making it a 41-31 ballgame.
Martin scored for MTCS before Miller and Anna Curtner hit consecutive three's as Forrest moved out in front 47-33.
MTCS missed at the other end and Christina Curtner drove in for another score, stretching the FHS lead to 49-33.
Sara Simms got two points back for MTCS.
Forrest missed down at the offensive end, but Allen came up with her fourth steal of the night and fed Hawn in full stride the other way for a lay-up.
Hawn was hacked on the play and drained the charity shot, giving the home squad a 52-35 lead as they went to the bench at the end of the third period.
MTCS would never get back in the game and things got ugly again just moments into the fourth quarter when Adrean Jordan and Julia Howard got into it under the basket.
The refs warned all the players about the game getting out of control and there were no other incidents the rest of the contest as Forrest cruised home to the 22-point win.
The number four ranked Lady Rockets (18-4, 11-0) can clinch the 9A crown with a win over Cascade at home on Thursday night at 5:00 PM.
Class A Miss Basketball favorite Hawn finished the game with 22 points, 12 rebounds, added 4 steals, and 3 blocked shots.
Miller was next in the Lady Rocket scorebook with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Allen had 8 points to go along with her 4 steals and great leadership at the point.
Anna Curtner's two treys gave her 6 points on the night and Jordan and Randi Tombs each scored 2 points.
Mullins led MTCS (15-7, 6-5) in scoring with 20 points.