Lady Rockets clip Cascade in double-overtime thriller

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Photo by Anthony S. Puca Hannah Phifer (35) ties the game at 49-49 on this three-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining in the fourth period in Forrest's 61-58 double overtime win over Cascade Friday night in Chapel Hill.

The Cascade Lady Champions invaded Forrest Friday night with the intention of upsetting the Lady Rockets and almost pulled it off before some late magic catapulted the Chapel Hill girls to a 61-58 double-overtime win.

An elated Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean said after the win, "It's been a bumpy ride, but right now, the girls are buying into want we want to do and they are playing pretty good. If you think about it, we had graduated almost everyone who had played, so a lot of these kids have stepped up and played big minutes and big basketball. We have only won two district games by more than ten points twice, so they are getting tougher playing in close games and that will help us come tournament time."

Cascade held a lead at the end of the first, second, and third periods, and deep into the fourth by as much as seven at 45-42 with only 2:02 remaining in the contest until Forrest pulled some magic out of their bag of tricks.

Forrest freshman Savannah Brothers, who had her typical rough and tumble game, hit two free throws after being tackled on her way to the hoop with 1:26 remaining in regulation to make it a one-point game.

Kelsey Parker, who had a monster night for the Lady Champions with a game-high 22 points, hit a basket in the paint at the other end before Brothers was hacked again and calmly drained two more free throws with 48.3 seconds left.

Forrest called timeout after the Brothers basket, but Cascade came back with a two clutch free throws from Haylee Simpson to make it 49-46.

A Forrest missed shot sent the Lady Champs back to the line, but this time both attempts were no good and the Lady Rockets called timeout with 16.2 seconds left.

Jean called the play in the huddle and it worked to perfection as Hannah Phifer rained down an ice-cold, game tying three-bomb from the corner to tie the game at 49 with 4.6 ticks remaining in the game.

Cascade would not get a good shot off and the game went to overtime.

The tables turned on Forrest in the first overtime session as they led by two points at 55-53 after two more Brothers clutch free throws with 10 seconds left, but a driving layup by Cascade's Elora Skuce re-knotted the game and sent it to a second overtime period.

Cascade drew first blood in the four-minute period on two free throws by Jessica Ervin, but Phifer drilled two at the other end to make it 57-57.

Katie Vincent made one of two after being fouled to give Cascade a one-point lead at 58-57 before Adrean Jordan gave the Lady Rockets a 59-58 lead with scoop in the lane.

A Cascade miss and subsequent foul sent Scarlett Roberson to the free throw for two shots and she drilled the first, but missed the second.

An offensive foul call at the other end gave the rock back to the Lady Rockets and moments later, Roberson would hit another foul shot with 12.6 seconds remaining to give Forrest a three-point lead at 61-58.

"That was crazy," said Roberson after the game. "My mind was going insane, because I didn't want to mess up. I said to myself, we have worked too hard not make these."

Cascade called timeout with seven ticks remaining, but this time the play did not work and Forrest escaped with the win to remain in second place in district play at 8-4, while the Cascade loss dropped the Lady Champs all the way back into a tie for fourth place with Huntland at 6-6.

Brothers had 18 points to lead Forrest, including a clutch 12-17 performance from the free throw line, while Phifer netted 15 (3 treys, 2-2 from the FT line), Tayler Andrews scored 12, Roberson ended up with seven, Jordan six, Candace Daughrity managed two points, and Hannah Evans had one point.