Lady Dawgs storm back to win thriller over Forrest
The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs trailed Forrest by eight points in the first, second and third quarters and by 10 points early in the fourth before a Kaitlyn Rogers basket with eight seconds remaining in the contest completed the final comeback in the 39-37 win in Chapel Hill Monday night.
"They had us beat three times; I felt like in that game they had at least three opportunities to put us away, but we managed to play better and make less mistakes," said Cornersville head coach Micah Landers. "I felt like some of our problems were self inflicted, we wounded ourselves, but we played well the final few minutes."
Forrest jumped out to early 8-0 lead on two Caitlyn Yost baskets, two Savannah Brothers free throws and a Hannah Phifer jumper before Cornersville stormed back, going on a 12-6 run that began and ended with Rogers treys that cut the Lady Rockets' lead to 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Phifer heated up in the second quarter, scoring seven points on a three-pointer and two midrange jumpers, while Amanda Chumbley came off the bench to spark Forrest with a steal and dish to Phifer and a late bucket in the paint as Forrest led 26-18 at the half.
A Rogers' basket to start the second half was followed by a Kaleigh Welch bucket, cutting the Forrest lead to four points.
Phifer answered with a pair of three-bombs over the next several minutes as Forrest held on for a 34-27 lead, entering the final eight minutes of play.
Brothers put the Lady Rockets up by 10 points on the first possession of the fourth quarter, scoring on a traditional three-point play.
With six minutes to play, the Forrest lead was still at 10 points before Brittany Umbles hit one of two from the free throw line to make it 37-28.
Sister Ashley Umbles chipped in with another basket, and after a Forrest missed shot, Brooke Holt drained a long three-bomb to make it a 37-33 ballgame.
Another Forrest miss led to Brittany Umbles bucket in the paint, and after crucial missed scoring opportunity by Forrest, Rogers tied the game at 37 with 3:47 remaining in the intra-county rivalry.
The game remained knotted at 37 as both teams missed chances to go ahead as the clock ticked away.
Forrest had the ball with less then 30 seconds remaining, but coughed it up and Rogers went strong to the hole at the other end for the go-ahead basket with eight seconds left in regulation.
"Kaitlyn did a great job, one other possession she ripped it and got fouled going to the rim, and that is what you want to see your senior leader do in those situations," said Landers.
The Lady Rockets got lucky one last time on a Cornersville turnover with two seconds left and Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean called timeout.
Phifer got the ball in the corner on the inbounds play, but her three-point attempt was off target and the game ended.
The Lady Rockets (0-4) remain winless on the season, while the Lady Dawgs, who broke a 14-game winning streak by Forrest, improved to 3-0.
"Coach Jean has played some quality teams and I felt coming in tonight he probably had the advantage because he had played better opponents then we had, but we managed to make fewer mistakes down the stretch," said Landers.
Rogers led Cornersville in the scoring column with 15 points, while Welch netted seven, Holt six, Brittany Umbles scored five, Ashley Umbles ended up with four and Haley Stacey finished with two points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Phifer matched Rogers with 15 points for Forrest, Brothers netted a dozen, Yost had a half dozen and Chumbley and Kirston Holder finished with two points apiece.
Cornersville will have plenty of time to enjoy the Thanksgiving leftovers as they will not be back into action until Nov. 27 at Eagleville.
Forrest will try to break the goose egg in the win column with games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week as part of the Forrest Thanksgiving Tournament in Chapel Hill.