Lady Rockets win one of two battles
The Forrest Lady Rockets won one of two battles in the war for positioning in the upcoming District 9-A Tournament as they came from behind at Huntland Friday night to earn a 38-23 win before barely missing a chance at a big upset over second-ranked Moore County in Chapel Hill Saturday in a 63-48 loss.
Forrest fell behind 11-4 in the first quarter versus Huntland before cutting the Lady Hornets' lead to five at the half, 20-15.
In the second half it was the Lady Rockets that did the swarming, holding Huntland to zero field goals over the final 16 minutes, including a rare scoreless third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Lady Rockets scored 23 points in the half, matching the Lady Hornets' total for the game.
Kirston Holder came up big for Forrest, scoring five of her seven points in the game during the fourth quarter, while Huntland's three fourth-period points all came from the free-throw line.
Holder finished tied Hannah Phifer for team-high scoring honors with seven points for the Lady Rockets, who put up a balanced offensive attack with eight players tallying points in the game.
Tayler Andrews scored six points, Adrean Jordan, Amanda Chumbley, and Candace Daughrity all scored four points apiece, and Savannah Brothers and Scarlett Roberson rounded out the scoring for FHS with three points each.
On Saturday, the two top teams in the district met in a make-up game at Forrest, and Moore County flexed its muscles in a rough and tumble ballgame that saw the Raiderettes build a 16-point third quarter lead before foul trouble sent their two best players to the bench, allowing the Lady Rockets to mount a comeback.
Moore County doubled up on the Lady Rockets, taking a 14-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
A Rachel Garland bucket with just over two minutes to go in the third period gave Moore County their biggest lead of the game at 40-24.
The fouls began to mount for Moore County as Sarah Raby went to the bench with her fourth foul moments later, and one play later, Garland joined her on the pine.
Over the next two minutes, the Lady Rockets would slice the Moore County lead to 10 with Roberson hitting two free throws and Phifer nailing four of four from the charity stripe to make it 42-32, entering the final eight minutes.
Forrest made their move to begin the final quarter, but it could have been a deeper cut as they hit half of their free throws in two trips to the line early in the period.
A Holder drive and score to the basket brought the Lady Rockets to within just seven points and one of two from the free throw line moments later by Roberson sliced the Moore County lead to just six at 42-36 with 6:25 remaining in the ballgame.
Moore County head coach Bruce Slatton had seen enough and inserted his two Class A Miss Basketball hopefuls back into the contest after the Roberson free throw.
With the defensive onus back on Raby and Garland, Erin Thomas burned the Lady Rockets with two deep three-balls to kickoff an 18-6 run to end the contest as the Raiderettes remained unbeaten in District play at 8-0, while improving their overall record to 22-3 with the 15-point triumph.
Forrest fell under the .500 mark on the season at 10-11, but remained in second place in the league standings with a 6-3 record, one game in front of Eagleville, Middle Tennessee Christian School, and Huntland.
Garland (19) and Raby (13) combined for 32 points, while Kelsey Camp scored 11, Thomas netted eight, and Erica Limbaugh and Savannah Williams scored four points apiece for Moore County.
Holder led the Lady Rockets in the scoring column with a dozen points, Savannah Brothers and Roberson scored nine points apiece, Phifer had seven, Candace Daughrity and Adrean Jordan both netted four, and Amanda Chumbley added three markers for Forrest.