Forrest bounces back over Collinwood

Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Lady Rockets get ready to battle Collinwood Tuesday at the Wayne County Christmas Classic. Forrest would beat the Trojanettes 52-32 to improve to 7-5 on the season. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca.

Two proud ladies basketball programs met in day two of the Wayne County Christmas Classic Tuesday afternoon with Forrest coming out on top 52-32 over Collinwood.

Both teams were coming off first round thrashings and needed to win to build some confidence and move forward in what each hopes to be a resurgent season.

"We were a completely different team from yesterday," said Forrest coach Jeremy Jean. "If this team shows up every game, we will have a chance to win every game."

It has been five years since the Lady Rockets captured their only state championship and they were non-participants in Murfreesboro for the first time in four seasons last year after losing in the quarterfinals of the Region 6A Tournament to MTCS.

The dry spell has been longer for the Trojanettes with their only state title coming in 1988 and they have not been to the state tournament since 2006-2007 when they won the Region 6A Tournament, and then beat MTCS handily in a sectional game before losing in the first round in Murfreesboro to TCA.

Collinwood (5-7, 1-1) has not made it past the region semifinals since the TCA loss and did not qualify for the region tournament last year and the Trojanettes have one win over a team with a winning record this season.

Forrest (7-5, 3-1) has been inconsistent through twelve games with losses to Moore County, Marshall County, Clarkrange, Lebanon, and Wayne County, but they had one big quality win over top ten Cannon County, and have won three out four league games and are currently tied for second place in District 9A behind the Class A state runner-ups Moore County Raiderettes.

The Lady Rockets never trailed in Tuesday afternoon's game, leading 14-10 after the first quarter before holding Collinwood scoreless over the first four minutes of the second period, while scoring seven points to take a ten-point 21-11 lead that continued to grow to twice that by the end of the first half at 35-15.

The Trojanettes struggled once again on offense in third period, being outscored by the Lady Rockets 11-4 and fell way behind 46-19.

Jean went to his bench in the fourth period as the Lady Rockets won going away by the twenty-point margin.

Nine players scored for Forrest with the Curtner twins (Anna and Christina) each putting up ten points.

"Everybody who played tonight, played well," said Jean. "We didn't turn the ball over tonight very much. We went through a little spell there in the third quarter where we only scored six points, but we were being real patient taking care of the ball and that was a positive for tonight."

Alyson Patton (Two 3's), Hannah Phifer, and Jillian Blanchett all ended up with six points for Forrest, Candace Daughrity (One trey) scored five, Kim Rochester scored four, Maegen Gower had one three-pointer and Megan Miller netted 2 points.

Collinwood's Kelsie Hardin led all scorers with 17 points, Alexis Haddock had eight, Hanna Littrell scored five, and Nikki Robertson ended up with two points.

Forrest will take a short break for Christmas before returning to practice Sunday night to prepare for the Eagleville Christmas Tournament next Monday and Tuesday with games versus Gordonsville (4-8) and Houston County (9-4).

Christina Curtner (21) and her twin sister Anna both scored 10 points versus Collinwood and after the game talked to scouts from Walters State, Martin-Methodist, and Columbia State Community College.

Scouts from Walters State, Martin-Methodist, and Columbia State were on hand looking at the Curtner twins and Jean said about their future, "They are going to play somewhere. Their future is bright and I think that will give them some confidence moving forward."

Candace Daughrity (4) drains a three-pointer for the Lady Rockets.
Hannah Phifer (35) goes in for a score after swiping the ball from Collinwood.
Megan Miller (15) scores on a rebound and put-back in the Lady Rockets' 52-32 win over Collinwood.