Lady Rockets stun Liberty

Friday, November 9, 2012
After a steal by Katie Harmon, Brynn Colvin (40) races in for a fast break bucket to give the Lady Rockets the lead for good with 1:23 to play in the ballgame. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The FMS Lady Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak Monday night at Liberty, pulling off an exhilarating 36-34 comeback win to avenge a 27-22 opening season loss to the Lady Patriots.

"That was great," said FMS head coach Rhea Webb. "It was really great to see the girls get down and then see them come back together and pull out the win."

Three players broke double figures in scoring in the fan friendly contest with Liberty's post player Kylie Hardy leading all scorers with 17 points.

Caitlyn McKenzie (33) breaks the 17-0 Liberty run early in the fourth quarter, beginning the FMS comeback that resulted in a 36-34 win over the Lady Patriots.

FMS standout Kyleah Hengesbach scored 16 points, turning in another solid performance before fouling out with two minutes to go in the game.

Kendall Durard scored 10 points, including a wild six-point surge in the third quarter that keyed a 17-0 Liberty run.

The Lady Rockets held Liberty scoreless the first six minutes of the contest and led 8-1 after the first quarter.

The Lady Patriots fought their way back on home turf, eventually tying the game on a Durard bucket with under a minute to play in the first half.

Forrest's Tamia Northcutt beat the ensuing halftime buzzer by a few seconds, giving the Lady Rockets a two-point lead at 16-14.

A Hengesbach free throw, followed by baskets from Dani Hoeft and Brynn Colvin made it 21-14, FMS.

After a Hardy bucket in the paint made it 21-16, Durard scored on a rebound and put-back, a steal and score and finished off the spurt by draining the go-ahead basket with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter.

The eight points was a left hook to Forrest, who would not score again until FMS seventh grader Caitlyn McKenzie broke the drought with a basket at the five-minute mark of the final period to cut the Liberty lead to 31-23.

"I was upset because we broke down in just fundamental things like blocking out and little things like that and we told them little things like that add up to a lot," said Webb.

After a Liberty turnover, Hengesbach scored and after a tie-up on the floor gave the ball to Forrest, Northcutt made it four-point ballgame on a short jumper in the lane.

The Lady Pats were now on the receiving end of some FMS blows as they coughed it up again and Hengesbach capitalized with a bucket to make it 31-29 with less than four minutes remaining in the fight.

Hardy and Forrest's Katie Harmon traded baskets, keeping the two-point margin.

Colvin and Hengesbach were clutch as each made one out of two from the free throw line to tie the game at 33 with less than two minutes to go before Hengesbach was whistled for her fifth foul on the offensive end.

Immediately, Harmon picked her teammate up with a swipe and fed Colvin on the run for an easy lay-up, giving the Lady Rockets a 35-33 lead with 1:23 remaining in the game.

Colvin would foul out moments later and Haley Anthony made one of two from the charity stripe on the Colvin foul to make it a one-point contest with 54.8 seconds left.

"I am really, really, really proud of them with those two fouling out," said Webb. "We also had three that got hurt, one was bleeding, one hurt her leg and another was hurt, and the three of them and the bench did a great job."

Harmon recaptured the two-point lead on a single free throw with 15.5 seconds left and the Lady Rockets held on down the stretch for the win.

Colvin ended up with seven points for FMS, Northcutt netted five, Harmon had four, and McKenzie and Hoeft ended up with two points apiece.

Liberty point guard Sydney Ely had an all-around solid game and finished with four points, while A.J. Mitchell scored two and Anthony netted the one free throw.