Lady Rebels nip Forrest in overtime
In an exciting season opener, the Forrest Lady Rockets came within a favorable roll on a shot by eighth grader Caitlyn Yost at the buzzer of beating Franklin in regulation, only to see it slip away four minutes later in a 46-44 overtime loss at Chapel Hill Tuesday night in a Hall of Fame match-up.
"I thought we should have won the ballgame," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "That's a game that we lost. I told them in the locker room, sometimes better teams beat you, no disrespect to them, but tonight we gave it to them."
Forrest jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on a pair of Candace Daughrity buckets and a Savannah Brothers free throw.
Anna Follese, who led all scorers in the ballgame with 15 points, led Franklin back, beginning with a deep three-pointer as the Lady Rebels outscored Forrest 12-4 over the next several minutes.
Forrest's Kirston Holder found Hannah Phifer under the basket on an inbounds with a few ticks left to make it a two-point game at 12-11, Lady Rebs.
Early in the second quarter, Holder drilled a three-pointer to give Forrest a 16-15 lead and the Lady Rockets added to their lead from the free throw line over the next five minutes as Hannah Evans drained four out of four and Yost buried two of two charity shots as the Lady Rockets led 22-16.
A Rachel Hawn three-point play in the paint stopped the bleeding for Franklin, but a Yost free throw, followed by an Amanda Chumbley put-back and an over the top bucket by Phifer stretched Forrest's lead to 27-19.
Franklin's Payton Cantrell converted a one and situation at the end of the half, making it 27-21 Forrest.
Brothers started the third quarter with a free throw, and then the Lady Rebels fired off a 16-shot barrage, led by Follese's nine in the quarter, giving the visitors a 37-28 lead.
Yost scored on a rebound and follow, putting the home team in a 37-30 hole at the end of the quarter.
Angela McPeek scored off an early Forrest turnover to make it 39-30 before the Lady Rockets soared back on a Brothers basket, a Yost drive to the hoop and back-to-back baskets in the paint by Evans, making it a one-point contest midway through the fourth quarter.
McPeek and Brothers exchanged baskets before Scarlett Roberson hit the front end of a one and one, tying the game at 41.
Evans matched a Hannah Harris free throw with 50 seconds to go in the game, and after a Franklin turnover, Jean called timeout with 33 ticks left.
Forrest let the ball slip away after the stoppage, sending the Lady Rebels the other way with a chance to go ahead, but the shot was no good.
Yost got the ball in the corner and raised up for a jumper that spun off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the game to overtime.
"I thought she made it, I thought she made it," said a smiling Jean about the Yost attempt. "She came in and gave us some positive minutes tonight, she had a few turnovers, but that's expected of an eighth grader, but she did a lot of things positive and makes plays for other people."
Anna Patton opened up the extra period with a basket and Jodi Hill added a free throw before Forrest finally scored on a Roberson basket with 2:22 left in OT.
Franklin turned the ball over, but the Lady Rockets gave it right back, leading to a Follese free throw with a minute remaining in the ballgame that made the score 46-44.
The Lady Rockets got the ball one final time with 19 seconds left and called timeout, but after the stoppage, Forrest was unable to get a shot before the final buzzer sounded.
Evans led Forrest in the scoring column with nine points, while Brothers ended up with eight points and Yost scored seven in her varsity debut.
Phifer was next with six points, Roberson netted five and Daughrity scored four, while Holder had the one trey and Chumbley added a deuce.
On Saturday, Forrest will host a slate of Hall of Fame games with the Lady Rockets playing at 10am versus Pope John Paul II, followed by a night game at 7pm versus Loretto.
"The two teams Saturday are better than this team, so this is a game we needed to get to get some momentum into Saturday," said Jean. "If we don't get momentum into that we could end up just like last year, 0-5, 4-9 and we don't need that going into Moore County in two weeks. It's here and we have to grow up and it's time for those to play the way they are capable of playing, like they did in the first four minutes."