Forrest clinches league crown with OT win over Cascade
The Cascade Lady Champions came to Chapel Hill last year in late January and upset Forrest 44-38, handing the Lady Rockets their only district loss of the season and they had upset on their minds once again on Thursday night before the fourth-ranked Lady Rockets prevailed 61-54 in overtime.
The Forrest triumph, their eighth win in a row, clinched the regular season district title, marking six consecutive league crowns for the Chapel Hill hardwood heroines.
But it wasn't easy.
Cascade played inspired basketball from the start, jumping out to a 15-8 first quarter lead behind seven points by Jessica Popp.
Christina Curtner banged home a three-pointer to begin the second period and after a Cascade score by M.K. Potter, Beth Hawn got on the scoreboard for the first time in the contest, bullying her way to score underneath at the 5:52 mark of the period.
The Lady Champs hung tough, leading 22-15 after Kelsey Parker got free in the paint for a score.
After the Parker score, Anna Curtner drained a three-pointer and then it was all Lady Rockets as they outscored Cascade 10-2 the rest of the half, taking a one-point 25-24 lead into the intermission.
Hawn would finish the first half with 8 points.
Cascade coach Chad Spencer must have gave one heck of a halftime speech because the Wartrace crew came out fired up in the third period and led 37-34 going into the final eight minutes of regulation.
At the outset of the fourth quarter, Adrean Jordan blocked Cascade's first scoring attempt.
Hawn scored at the other end on a reverse lay-up out of a set play.
After a Cascade miss, Forrest missed two shots, but pounded the boards and Taylour Allen converted on a pull-up jumper in the lane, giving the Lady Rockets a 38-37 lead.
Cascade dug deep again, outscoring Forrest 8-2 over the next three and half minutes and led 45-40 with just under three minutes remaining in the game.
Hawn showed once again why she is one of the leading candidates for the Class A Miss Basketball award, taking control of the game, scoring six out of nine straight points for Forrest.
Hawn scored four points in one instance when she made a bucket to tie the game at 45 and was fouled, going to the line.
She missed the free throw, but burst down the lane, grabbing her own rebound and putting the ball in off the glass, giving the Lady Rockets a 47-45 lead with 1:08 to play.
Forrest got an alternate possession in the Cascade paint and they had to foul Allen with 30.7 left.
Allen went to the line and buried both ends of a one and one for a 49-47 lead.
A Cascade bucket with 20.2 left on the ticker cut the Lady Rocket lead to 49-47.
Forrest missed the front end of a one and one at the other end before Potts drove through traffic for a lay-in, tying the game at 49 with 11.1 seconds left.
On the inbound play after the Cascade bucket, Megan Miller went deep, launching the ball over top of the Cascade defense to Christina Curtner on the run.
Curtner raced in and laid in the basket, putting Forrest up 51-49 with 5 seconds left.
Curtner said about the play after the game, "Coach Jean told us to run the play, but make sure to play defense after the basket."
Jean called timeout to set the defense and it seemed to work as the Forrest press forced an apparent double dribble, but no call was made and the play went on.
A mad scramble ensued and Potts was fouled with 0.2 left in the game.
Potts stepped to the line and calmly nailed attempts, tying the game at 51 all and sending the contest into overtime.
Hawn sent a special delivery message to the Lady Champs right from the start of the overtime that there would be no upset this time, draining a long three-pointer on the Lady Rockets' first touch.
A Haley Edmondson bucket cut the Forrest lead to one point with 53.1 seconds left.
Cascade fouled Christina Curtner and she made them pay, draining both ends of a one and one, putting the home squad up 56-53.
Potts was fouled and made just one of two for Cascade and they fouled Allen on the rebound.
Allen showed her grit, nailing both attempts with ease to give the Lady Rockets an all-important four-point lead with 20 seconds left.
Christina Curtner would go on to ice the game, making 3-4 from the free throw line at the end to secure the title clinching win 61-54.
Hawn would finish with a game high 28 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
Christina Curtner had a dozen and said about the overtime win, "It is really good to clinch the regular season district at home. It was really a good game for us to get that experience of overtime and having to make our foul shots at the end. This should prepare us pretty well for the tournament."
Anna Curtner scored 7, Allen finished with 6, Megan Miller scored 4, Randi Tombs had 3, and Jordan scored 1.