2011-2012 Forrest Girls Preview
Five years have passed since Cinderella's shoe fell on the Class A basketball world when the Forrest Lady Rockets captured the school's first ever state championship in any sport under the tutelage of former coach Robby Reasonover.
Current coach Jeremy Jean took over the following year as Reasonover surprised everyone with his resignation, citing personal reasons.
Jean guided the squad to an impressive 26-8 record in 2006-2007, winning both the District 9-A title and Region 5-A hardware before being ousted in the first round of the state tournament by the eventual champions, Gleason.
In 200-2008, the Lady Rockets posted a 29-4 record, including an undefeated 12-0 district mark as they cruised to both another set of district and region tittles.
After a heart pounding sectional win over Santa Fe in Chapel Hill, Forrest was eliminated in the first round at Murfreesboro by Wayne County.
Forrest matched the 29-4 from the previous year in 2008-2009, sweeping through the post-season again and reached the Murphy Center party with a rough and tough win over Wayne County in the sectionals, before losing to another eventual champion, Clarkrange.
In 2009-2010, the Lady Rockets (26-5) posted another undefeated league play mark, but were shocked by MTCS in the second round of the Region 5-A Tournament, ending their streak of state tournament appearances.
Last season, the Lady Rockets (25-9) stayed the course, going 13-1 in district play, tied with Moore County.
After splitting a pair of regular season games, the Raiderettes won the district tournament, but Jean's squad got revenge, beating Moore County 72-57 in the region title tilt at Unionville.
Both were denied state tournament berths the following week in the sectionals as Moore County lost to Loretto and the Lady Rockets fell 54-47 to Wayne County.
Wayne County would go on to win its second state title in that school's history in a big 63-58 win over North Green in Murfreesboro.
Most prep coaches would be very happy with a 135-30 career record, but not Jean, who said, "We have to take care of our own business and just play, and these kids have got a chance to get back to sub-state. It's been two years now where I have had to watch the state tournament, and I don't like it. This team has a chance to be a special group if they just stay together and play together how they know how."
The Lady Rockets sport just one senior (Adrean Jordan) on this year's roster and she did not even play last season.
Jordan's return is a huge one and Jean said, "Adrean as an enforcer this year will definitely help. She will hit somebody in the nose, not trying to hurt someone, but that is the way she knows how to play. She is not afraid to throw her body around, block some shots, grab some rebounds and be that enforcer we need."
The Lady Rockets have really only two players that posted any court time last year in juniors Hannah Phifer and Candace Daughrity and both are being counted on heavily for court leadership, scoring, and rebounding.
"Those two and Adrean, we will look to, to stay calm", said Jean. "As the year goes on, I think they will grow into that and relish being in the leadership role."
In addition, junior Scarlett Roberson saw some court time last season and showed flashes of solid play, and along with her junior classmates guard Tayler Andrews and post player Amanda Chumbley, Jean has the makings of a core group.
Point guard Kirston Holder is the lone sophomore on the squad and has accelerated her progression over the summer, and along with Andrews the duo could become a pair of solid court generals.
Freshman guard Savannah Brothers could be the surprise player on the squad as she comes off a great middle school career and has all the talent and heart to become an outstanding backcourt player for Jean.
Another freshman to watch is the tall and lanky Hannah Evans, who should be able to chip in some rebounding and scoring in the low post with Jordan and Chumbley.
Other freshmen on the squad with a chance for court time are Sierra Waggoner, Cheyenne Brasher, and Brianna Mackie.
"They will all get better as the year goes on," said Jean. "Our district is going to be tougher this year than it has been in the past, from top to bottom. We have to come out, focused and ready to play every night or we will end up being a bottom seed, wearing a dark jersey and that is something they are not used to doing, and I'm not either."
Look for the Lady Rockets to struggle early on with a tough schedule as they search for the right floor combinations, meld as a team, and gain confidence as the season progresses, but watch out late as Jean's squad battles for the number two spot in the district with Eagleville and Cascade.
Date Opponent Location
Nov. 15 Franklin H.S. Away
Nov. 19 Houston County Away (HOF)
Nov. 19 Hickman County Away (HOF)
Nov. 23 Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament
Nov. 25 Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament
Dec. 2 Moore County Away
Dec. 6 Eagleville Away
Dec. 9 Huntland Home
Dec. 10 Cornersville Away
Dec. 12 MTCS Home
Dec. 19 Wayne Co. Christmas Tournament
Dec. 22 Wayne Co. Christmas Tournament
Dec. 29 Eagleville Christmas Tournament
Dec. 30 Eagleville Christmas Tournament
Jan. 3 Cascade Away
Jan. 6 Fayetteville City Home
Jan. 7 Summertown Home
Jan. 10 Community Away
Jan. 13 Moore County Home
Jan. 17 Eagleville Home
Jan. 20 Huntland Away
Jan. 24 MTCS Away
Jan. 27 Cascade Home
Jan. 28 Summertown Away
Jan. 31 Fayetteville Cty Away
Feb. 3 Community Home
Feb. 7 Cornersville Home