Lady Rockets' comeback shocks Cascade

Friday, December 16, 2011
Forrest senior Adrean Jordan (23) came up big in Wartrace Tuesday night as the Lady Rockets escaped an eighteen-point deficit to beat the Lady Champions 58-57. Photo by Anthony S. Puca

Just when things looked as bleak as they could be, the Forrest Lady Rockets displayed the heart of champions as they came back from the depths of an eighteen-point deficit to shock the Cascade Lady Champions in Wartrace Tuesday night 58-57.

"At any time in the first half or even in the third quarter, these girls could have quit, but they didn't," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean after the game. "We talked last night about believing in what we are doing and being all in They bought in to each other and they kept battling and kept battling and the shots starting falling and we had a good outcome."

After a very early 7-2 lead, Cascade turned on the jets to take a 20-14 lead after the first quarter and continued to thrive on the energy of the home crowd to up their margin to fourteen points by halftime 44-30.

The Lady Rockets made a statement coming out of the intermission as Adrean Jordan scored in the paint, and after a Lady Champion miscue, Savannah Brothers drilled a long three-bomb, lighting the comeback fuse.

There was no scoring for several minutes as the Lady Rockets began to tighten up on defense and the shots that were falling for Cascade in the first half began to find iron in the third quarter.

Still, the Lady Champions managed to hang on to a 50-40 lead as the quarter wound down thanks to a late three-pointer by Katie Vincent.

With just over five minutes to play in the contest, Cascade held a 55-45 lead when the Lady Rockets hit their second stage boosters, beginning with a three-bomb by Hannah Phifer.

Jordan fought for a tie-up on the floor and Brothers rewarded her senior teammate for her effort, draining a three-pointer to slice the Cascade lead to 55-51.

Cascade's attempt on a one and from the free throw line drew nothing but iron, sending Forrest the other way where Brothers took the fast lane to the hoop for a score, making it a two-point ballgame.

Once again, Cascade missed the front end of another one and one and Jean called timeout with Jordan at the free throw line in a one and one for the Lady Rockets.

After the stoppage, Jordan hit one of two, cutting the home team's lead to a single digit at 55-54 with 3:23 to play in the contest.

Candace Daughrity grabbed the rebound of the second Jordan free throw and a scramble ensued where Jordan went to the floor again and grabbed the rock before alertly calling timeout with 2:47 left on the clock.

Forrest could not capitalize after the timeout and Cascade did as Kelsey Parker drilled two foul shots to put the Lady Champs up 57-54.

Jordan scored in the paint at the other end with 2:02 remaining in the game.

Both squads could not break free until cascade had a chance to up their lead as Haylee Simpson stepped up for two free throws with 47.5 seconds left.

Both attempts were off the mark and Forrest went the other way where Brothers took it to the rack again for a driving lay-up with 35.9 seconds left to give Forrest their first lead since early in the first quarter.

At the other end, Daughrity came up with the defensive play of the game as she blocked the Cascade go-ahead attempt and was fouled.

"Candace does a lot of things that don't show up in the scorebook," said Jean. "She gets loose balls, tips, blocks and we needed that and we needed this win."

Daughrity missed at the foul line, but the game ended as Cascade (6-4, 1-3) missed two attempts as time ran out.

"I think we just took a big step forward," said Jean. "If we can keep improving, we will be OK."

Brothers led the Lady Rockets in the scoring with 16 points (two treys), Tayler Andrews had a huge game with 13 points (three treys), Daughrity netted 10 (two treys), Jordan had 8, Phifer had two three-pointers for 6 points, Kirston Holder canned a three-pointer, and freshman Hannah Evans contributed some significant minutes and scored two points.

Parker poured in 21 points for Cascade to lead all scorers and Elora Skuce and Haylee Simpson had 13 points apiece.

Forrest (4-7, 2-3) travels to Waynesboro on Monday to take on the defending Class A State Champion Lady Wildcats (3-5) in the Wayne County Christmas Tournament.