Defending champs ground Lady Rockets
For the first time in several years, there was much uncertainty surrounding the contest that pitted defending Class A state champion Wayne County and the Forrest Lady Rockets, but in the end, it was the Lady Cats prevailing, 45-30 Monday night at the Waynesboro Christmas Classic.
It was win number three in a row for the Lady Cats over Forrest and five out nine since 2006.
Both squads are in the rebuilding process and are off to their worst starts to a season since 2003-2004 with Forrest struggling with a 4-7 record, while Wayne County came into the contest with a 3-6 record.
"They are still a good ballclub, they came out and pressed us, and we didn't respond very well," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "We have to become smarter basketball players and I think we will get there, but it is no fun getting there. We can't be scared of who they are, we have to just play our game."
A Tayler Andrews steal and score on Wayne County's second possession got the Lady Rockets off quick and moments later, Hannah Phifer made it a 4-2 contest on a jumper before the Lady Cats went on an 8-0 run to lead 10-4.
Forrest freshman Hannah Evans broke the Wayne County streak late in the period with a rebound and put-back, but Stacey Creecy hit two free throws for the Lady Cats with a couple of seconds remaining, doubling up the score at 12-6, entering period number two.
The second quarter was not much better for Forrest as they trailed by a dozen, 26-14 at the intermission.
Forrest fought back in the third quarter as Adrean Jordan went to work in the low post, scoring eight of her 15 points in the quarter, and with 2:04 remaining, Amanda Chumbley scored on a three-point play in the paint, cutting the Wayne County lead to six points at 31-25.
Wayne County standout Kelsey Risner, who finished with 12 points on the night, scored late and after a tie-up was awarded to the Lady Cats, Creecy scored in the paint tore-open a double-digit lead at 25-25, going into the final eight minutes of play.
The Lady Rockets would never get closer than nine points the rest of the way and faltered late handling the basketball to account for the big fifteen-point winning margin for Wayne County.
Andrews finished with five points for Forrest, Chumbley 3, Savannah Brothers, Evans, and Hannah Phifer all scored a deuce, and Kirston Holder ended up with a single marker.
Morgan Mathis supported Risner and the Lady Cats with 11 points, Creecy ended up with eight, Hayley Inman 7, Cassis Mathis 4, Taylor Hatcher netted three, and Samantha Skelton rounded out the scoring with two points.