Hawkins too tough for Lady Rockets

Friday, November 9, 2012
Kyleah Hengesbach (30) makes a strong move to the bucket for two of her nine points versus Westwood. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Westwood seventh-grader Kursten Hawkins may be the class of the Duck River Valley Conference this season and she put on a show Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, pouring in 27 points to lead Manchester over FMS 45-29.

"It's tough stopping one player that is very good," said FMS head coach Rhea Webb. "I thought we gave it a good run, but we had some mental breakdowns and had some trips that hurt us. It seems that when we get tired our mental mistakes take over, and we have to get over that."

FMS got off to a quick 4-0 lead on a Tamia Northcutt basket, followed by a nice over-the-top pass by Dani Hoeft to Brynn Colvin that led to a fast break bucket.

Tamia Northcutt (11) nails a short jumper in the lane during the first half versus Westwood.

Hawkins scored to make it 4-2 and then both teams went into a scoring drought until Hawkins hit one of two from the free throw line with 1:29 remaining in the first period.

Kyleah Hengesbach's two free throws with less than 40 seconds left in the period gave FMS a 6-3 lead after the first six minutes of play.

In the second quarter, Hawkins went off, scoring a dozen points, but Forrest hung tough as Colvin scored four in the paint, Northcutt chipped in with a steal and score, and Hengesbach hit one free throw to stay within six points of Westwood at 19-13, going into the third quarter.

The Lady Rockets would cut the Westwood lead to four points three times in the third quarter before a Grace Jackson three-bomb made it a seven-point contest at 28-21 and that would be the margin, going into quarter number four with Manchester leading 30-23.

A Hengesbach free throw at the outset of the final period made the score 30-24, but it would be lights out the rest of the way for Hawkins, who took over the game, scoring eight out of the next 15 Westwood points.

Hawkins was everywhere, running the floor on the fast break, crashing the boards for rebounds and in the face of the Forrest offense as a disruptive force on the defensive end, causing several FMS turnovers in leading her squad to the 16-point win.

"I am proud of the last two efforts by the girls," said Webb. "They hustled and played hard and I hope we can go into Thursday night against Community, playing hard too."

Colvin led Forrest in scoring column with 14 points, Hengesbach tallied nine and Northcutt finished with six.