FMS Lady Rockets snap losing streak
The Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets (3-6) turned in a gutty performance Monday night in Chapel Hill as they snapped a four-game losing with a rough and tumble 32-29 win over Liberty.
"It feels good to finally to get a win," said Forrest coach Jeremy Jean. "The kids have played this way for about three quarters every game and we have gotten beat, because we did not finish. Tonight we finished, they had a chance to lay down when they made a run on us, but they stayed calm, and we pulled out a win."
Depictive of a physical battle, Forrest shot 26 free throws in the ballgame and made just nine, while Liberty went 11-27 from the charity stripe.
"I think physical battle helps us out because we are so deep," said Jean. "But we have to make those free throws. Most times, it gets you in the end. It has been our Achilles heel year long, but we just try not to talk about, because I don't want it to be a mental game."
Two minutes into the contest, FMS seventh grader Caitlin Yost scored on an inbounds play to break the goose egg on the scoreboard.
Yost would score once more in the period and Kyleah Hengesbach notched a late bucket for six first quarters points for FMS, while Liberty was held to five by a stingy, physical Lady Rockets' defense.
FMS went ahead 8-5 on the a Yost basket to begin period number two before Liberty scored four straight, putting Forrest behind by one.
The Lady Rockets trailed by three points at 13-10 with under a minute to go in the first half, before four separate trips to the free throw line that produced a single point on two occasions by Yost and once each by Cassi Whitworth and Krista Chapman made it 14-13 when the buzzer sounded for intermission.
After an Alyson Phelps bucket midway through the third period gave Liberty the lead by three points at 19-16, Forest came back again, beginning with a Hengesbach basket, followed by a jumper by Yost, a huge three-bomb by Whitworth, and a Yost free throw at the end of the quarter to lead by five at 24-19.
The fourth quarter remained physical as both teams found themselves with several players in foul trouble and both squads contended every basket.
With just over two and half minutes remaining in the contest, Yost scored on a three-point play in the paint for FMS to stretch their lead to six points at 30-24 before the Lady Patriots mounted a serious comeback.
With 1:29 left on the ticker, Ashley Neeley hit one of two from the line for Liberty to get her squad to within one point at 30-29.
At the other end of the floor, Lady Rocket Brynn Colvin made it a two-point contest once again when she was fouled on a rebound and hit one free throw.
At the 12 second mark, Neeley had a chance to tie the game, but missed the front end of a one and one and Yost nailed a charity shot at the other end with just 10.5 seconds remaining in the game.
Liberty called timeout to set up a play, but Hailey Collins ruined any chance of another comeback when she knocked the ball away at half court and watched as it rolled out of bounds as time ran out in the three-point victory for Forrest.
Yost led all scorers with 17 points.
Hengesbach and Whitworth both scored a half dozen for Forrest, while Chapman had 2 points and Colvin the one big free throw.