Relentless Forrest defense smothers East Robertson in 5-A opener
The East Robertson Lady Indians had about a two minute window of opportunity before a smothering Forrest defense completely dismantled them in a 67-18 romp in the opening round of the Region 5-A Tournament Friday night in Chapel Hill.
Forrest also eliminated the Lady Indians last year in the first round 67-41.
Beth Hawn, who was named one of the three finalists this week for the Class A Miss Basketball Award, poured in 25 points in nineteen minutes of work.
After the game, Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean said about Hawn's nomination, "It's a great honor for her because she has worked hard to get that. Not only for her but for the team, because if we weren't 26-4 then she wouldn't even be looked at. Her teammates give her the ball and she scores, rebounds, and blocks shots. It's an individual award, but it is a team honor."
Molly Heady from Clarkrange and Laken Leonard of Jackson County are the other two finalists for the coveted Miss Basketball Award that will be presented at the conclusion of the Class A championships at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro on Saturday, March 13.
The No. 2 ranked Lady Rockets have a lot of business to take care of before then and Jean is not taking anything for granted, saying after the ballgame, "We have to take care of our own business. The number one team will be whoever wins that last game on the thirteenth of March. That is what really matters the most. It's good to be up there because people want to come and watch you play, but we will see what happens."
The first order of business is a tough and familiar Middle Tennessee Christian School team in round number two Monday night at East Robertson at 6:00 p.m.
The Lady Cougars (23-7) whipped White House-Heritage at their place 57-42 behind a strong performance by senior Alex Martin (22 pts., 5 three-pointers) and would like nothing more than to get their first win ever versus Forrest (26-4) in Monday's elimination game.
MTCS is 0-16 versus the Lady Rockets, dating back to November 18, 2003.
Lady Cougar senior Katie Mullins left Friday night's contest in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
Her status for Monday's game is unknown.
The winner gets the victor of the Moore County vs. McEwen contest that will take place directly after Forrest and MTCS battle.
The Region 5-A Title participants each earn a sub-state game on Friday, March 5.
The Lady Rockets started slow for the second game in a row and Jean was not happy about it, saying, "Again there is that rust we got. I have to find a way to get the rust off when the tip goes up because that will come back to bite us in another game. After that we played fine and got back to what we do."
The Lady Indians actually led 2-1 before Erica Casey mistakenly shot the ball into the Forrest basket on an inbounds play under the basket.
Forrest's Christina Curtner, who scored 19 points, drained 5 treys, and had two steals commandeered her first theft of the game after the Casey boo-boo and scored on a lay-in.
The defensive heat meter went to high for Forrest, forcing a five second call after the Curtner steal.
Hawn made East Robertson pay for the miscue, draining a three-bomb from the corner for an 8-2 lead by the home team.
East Robertson coach Kevin Evans called timeout with 3:59 left in the first quarter in an attempt to stop the Forrest wave.
It momentarily worked as Casey scored at her end, making it 8-4.
After misses by both squads, Randi Toombs banged home a three-pointer, stretching Forrest's lead to 11-4.
Taylour Allen, who would end up with four steals in the game, pick pocketed East Robertson and fed Hawn for another score, making it 13-4.
An offensive foul call on the Lady Indians gave the ball back to Forrest again and Hawn scored on an up and under hoop off of a set play and the quarter ended with the Lady Rockets leading 15-4.
Forrest had had enough and frustration began to build for the East Robertson after a Hawn bucket in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Evans was whistled for a technical foul after the Hawn basket and Hawn hit one of the two free shots, making it 18-4.
Allen found Christina Curtner on the inbounds play after the free throws and Curtner drained a three-bomb, opening up a can.
Once again East Robertson turned the ball over to Forrest and Curtner went the other way and was intentionally hacked by Cassie Barnes.
Curtner also hit one of the two technical foul shots, making it 22-4.
Forrest set the inbound play to find Hawn under the basket and she caught the ball and was fouled, going up for the shot.
This time Hawn drained both free-throws, extending the Lady Rockets' lead to twenty points.
The on court feeding frenzy continued when Curtner stole the rock on the ensuing inbounds play and fed Allen for a lay-up.
Curtner was everywhere, stealing the ball for the second consecutive time and this time she found Hawn for a three-pointer, making it 29-4 and forcing Evans to call time with 5:04 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Indians missed a shot after the stoppage and Curtner dialed up another long distance trey at the other end for a 32-4 Forrest margin.
Casey finally scored East Robertson's first basket of the second period with 3:56 left.
Hawn hit two foul shots and then Allen fired up the crowd again with a sliding steal and a no-look pass to Hawn for another lay-up, making it 35-6.
Another Indian miscue was followed by another Curtner three-pointer and the gap was widened to 38-6.
Hawn would hit three more free throws before the half ended with the Lady Rockets in complete control 41-6.
The second half began with Curtner draining another three-bomb, followed by a Hawn steal and feed to Curtner, making it 46-6.
After Hawn hit two free throws one possession later, she went to the Forrest bench for the remainder of the contest.
There was no let up for the Lady Rockets, who led 55-13 after three quarters.
The entire fourth period was played under mercy-rule conditions as Jean went to the subs, who continued the onslaught, winning the fourth quarter 12-5 en-route to the forty-nine point victory.
Anna Curtner hit two treys for 6 points. Adrean Jordan also had 6 points in the game, followed by Canaan Raines and Tombs with 3, Allen and Kim Rochester each scored 2 points, and Megan Miller had 1.
Casey led East Robertson with 7 points.