FMS girls lead early, falter late
Even in a loss, it may have been the best game of the year so far for the FMS Lady Rockets (1-5), who battled a stout MTCS Lady Cougars squad tooth and nail before falling 46-31.
"We just have to work on staying in their face, staying with our press, and not standing around and watching," said FMS head coach Rhea Webb.
MTCS point guard Abby Buckner hit a basket to begin the contest, but a Dani Hoeft jumper tied it up at the other end.
Kyleah Hengesbach hit two out of four three throws over the next several minutes as the Lady Rockets turned up the defensive heat on the Lady Cougars and led 4-2.
An MTCS turnover off more FMS pressure led to a Brynn Colvin basket underneath to make it 6-2 and force an MTCS timeout with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Two missed field attempts gave the ball back to FMS and Katie Harmon drove to the hoop for a Lady Rocket deuce, making it 8-2 before Holly Bowman scored for MTCS to cut the lead in half.
Hengesbach drilled a jumper at the other end for a 10-4 Lady Rocket lead and that would be the score after the first six minutes of action.
MTCS pivot Camden Adams got red-hot, scoring two deuces and a trey over the next few minutes to pull her team to within one point at 11-10 with 2:45 remaining in the first half.
Hengesbach stopped the MTCS spurt with a basket to make it 14-11 before Buckner and the Lady Cougars turned the tables defensively in an 8-0 run to end the first half, forging a 19-14 lead over the hometown girls.
"We came out and did a really good job in the beginning, but we got a little mentally and physically tired and had to come out of our press and that hurt us," said Webb.
Buckner began half number two with two free throws and then stole the ball and fed Adams for a layup to make it 23-14.
A Harmon steal and score moments later gave FMS some hope at 23-17, but an Adams score, followed by a Buckner 3-pointer ballooned the MTCS lead to 30-16.
The Lady Rockets would not quit as Harmon scored off a steal and then scored on a rebound and put-back to pull FMS to within ten points at 30-20.
A single free throw at the end of the period by FMS' Tamia Northcutt made it a 30-21 ballgame, entering the final six minutes of play.
Both teams went into a fourth quarter scoring drought, but the Lady Rockets' scarcity of points was worse than the Lady Cougars, who outscored Forrest 6-2 in the final period to win by the 13-point margin.
"They had really good players at all the spots," said Webb. "They knew how to handle the ball, take their time, look to see what we were doing and they figured us out," said Webb.
Adams finished with a game high 19 points going along with Buckner's 15, while Bowman had the only other score for the Lady Cougars.
Hengesbach and Harmon, who both scored 8 points apiece, led FMS in the scoring column.
Colvin had four points, Hoeft ended up with two and Northcutt netted just the one free throw.