Raiderettes snap Forrest's five-year title reign

Friday, February 18, 2011
The Forrest Lady Rockets had to settle for second place in the District 9-A Tournament after losing to Moore County 50-43 Thursday night in Huntland. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

For the first time in six years, the Forrest Lady Rockets had to settle for second place in the District 9-A Tournament after Moore County took a 50-43 coast-to-coast win in the championship game Thursday night at Huntland.

"I told the girls after the game, it's not over," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "My senior season in high school (Moore County), we finished second in the district, third in the region, second in the sections and two in the state, so it is still a possibility it could happen and we need to focus on that."

It was almost the identical score from last year's title game when Forrest won 49-43.

The second ranked Raiderettes flew off the bench, especially Tournament MVP Rachel Garland, who scored 8 out of the first 9 points in the ballgame, including two buckets on steals as Moore County jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Maegen Gower finally got Forrest on the board with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter.

A late basket by Sarah Raby made it 11-2 after the first eight minutes and the Raiderettes continued to pour it on, looking to blow out the defending district champs as they went up 16-6 on another Garland steal and score early in the second quarter.

Forrest's Christina Curtner (21) buries one of her four three-pointers on the night during a second quarter run that got the Lady Rockets back in the ballgame after trailing by ten points twice.

The Lady Rockets said no way to the blowout, starting with a deep three-pointer by Christina Curtner that started a 7-2 comeback run for Forrest to make it an 18-13 ballgame.

The play was rough and tumble from that point on as Forrest refused to fold, even after going down again 20-13 on a bucket by District 9-A Regular Season MVP Heather Vann.

Anna Curtner converted two free throws shortly after the Vann basket and after a late turnover by Moore County, her triplet sister Christina was fouled with 4.2 seconds remaining in the first half.

Anna Curtner (5) is fouled going to the hoop. Curtner would sink two free throws after the mauling.

Curtner made both free throw attempts and the first half came to a close with Moore County leading 20-17.

Raby hit back-to-back baskets at the outset of the second half and the Raiderettes were looking to pull away again before Alyson Patton came up with a steal and fed Christina Curtner for another three-bomb, cutting the Moore County lead to four points.

Two possessions later, Christina Curtner struck from deep again to fire up the travelling Chapel Hill faithful and the Lady Rockets were on the heels of the girls from Lynchburg in a one-point game, 24-23.

For the first time, it was the Raiderettes that were shaken and they turned the ball back over to Forrest with 4:36 left in the third quarter.

The Lady Rockets had the ball and chance to go ahead, but a missed shot sent Garland the other way for an easy bucket and a three-point lead at 26-23.

Another Lady Rocket missed shot at the other end led to a Raby bucket in the paint and Garland followed with a basket on their next touch to stretch the Moore County lead back to seven points.

Forrest was not fazed as Candace Daughrity and Christina Curtner drained three-bombs on back-to-back possessions, slicing the Raiderettes' lead down to a single point again.

Once again, Garland took over, scoring two baskets on consecutive possessions and a late Raby free throw gave Moore County a 35-29 lead going into the final eight minutes.

Raby converted in the paint early in the fourth period before Christina Curtner went downtown for the last time in the ballgame, keeping her squad in the contest at 37-32.

Anna Curtner followed moments later with a driving lay-up for two points to make it a 37-34 ballgame before Moore County ripped off seven straight points to take a ten-point lead with less than two minutes to play.

In Franklin County Thursday night, Forrest's Megan Miller (15) buries a late three-bomb from another county to keep the Lady Rockets close.

The Lady Rockets kept fighting and would cut the Moore County lead to five points on a Megan Miller three pointer from a mile away and a late Anna Curtner bucket, but that would be as close as they would get as the Raiderettes held on for the win and the title.

"We were in the game the whole time," said Jean. "We lost the game, that's the feeling I get is they didn't beat us. We would cut it to two, turnover; we would get a stop and cut it to two and turnover again. I don't know what it was because if I did, I would have fixed it."

Garland led all scorers with 21 points, Raby ended up with 17 points, Vann ended up with 7, Kelsey Camp netted four, and Amber Howell finished with 1 point for Moore County.

Christina Curtner led the Forrest scoring attack with 16 points, Anna Curtner had 11, Miller ended up with 7 points, Daughrity 3, and Patton, Gower, and Jillian Blanchett all finished with 2 points apiece.

Forrest will host the third place finisher from District 10-A next Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in the opening round of the Region 5-A Tournament that will move to Community after the slate of first round satellite games.

Moore County will entertain the fourth place 10-A team in Lynchburg the same night.

Moore County head coach Steve Slaton shakes hands with FHS's Jeremy Jean after Slaton's Raiderettes won the 9-A title at Huntland.

Jean said, "Hopefully we can get healthy. We are taking the whole weekend off and hopefully we can get physically rested and mentally rested."

District 9-A All-Regular Season Team

The 2010-2011 District 9-A All Regular Season Team

Heather Vann (Moore County-MVP)

Rachel Garland (Moore County)

Sarah Raby (Moore County)

Christina Curtner (Forrest)

Anna Curtner (Forrest)

Megan Miller (Forrest)

Chelsea Clark (Huntland)

Marly Majors (Huntland

Katie Leverette (Community)

Julia Adamowicz (Eagleville)

Hannah Mayes (Eagleville)

Elora Skuce (Cascade)

Haley Edmondson (Cascade)

Juliann Peters (MTCS)

Julia Howard (MTCS)

Kaci Lupo (F.C. Boyd)

District 9-A All-Tournament Team

The 2010-2011 District 9-A All Tournament Team

Rachel Garland (Moore County-MVP)

Heather Vann (Moore County)

Erin Thomas (Moore County)

Sarah Raby (Moore County)

Christina Curtner (Forrest)

Anna Curtner (Forrest)

Alyson Patton (Forrest)

Chelsea Clark (Huntland)

Marly Majors (Huntland

Alexis Smith (Huntland)

Katie Leverette (Community)

Julia Adamowicz (Eagleville)

Hannah Mayes (Eagleville)