Lady Rockets knock off Cascade
The Cascade Lady Champions travelled to Chapel Hill on a four-game winning streak, undefeated in District 9A play and seemingly with the upper hand Tuesday night, but the Forrest Lady Rockets spoiled the party, knocking off the Wartrace girls 50-42.
It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Lady Rockets over Cascade (7-3, 3-1) and the first district win for Forrest (4-9, 1-3) this season.
The Lady Rockets had lost four out their last five ballgames and a loss could have buried any hopes of a top two finish in the district.
It could not have come at a better time for head coach Jeremy Jean, who said after the game, "They are a real good ball club, I think if you picked in the district, they are the team to win it. We were up by seventeen at one point then got down by five and they could have quit, but they didn't, they stuck with it and kept plugging away."
Scarlett Roberson and Elora Skuce traded a pair of baskets to begin the contest and that was followed moments later on buckets from Forrest's Candace Daughrity and Lady Champ Andrea Pigg.
Forrest would forge ahead 10-6 before a Katie Vincent three-pointer made it a one-point game.
After a Savannah Brothers' blocked shot, Daughrity scored in the low post and Caitlyn Yost was fouled on the Lady Rockets' next possession and hit one of two free throws with 38.7 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Key foul shots
Cascade would not score at the other end and Yost was fouled again with just a few seconds left and this time, the eighth grader nailed both charity shots to give FHS a 15-9 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Lady Rockets stayed in control the second quarter, leading by as much as 16 points at 27-11 after back-to-back three-pointers by Daughrity and Kirston Holder midway through the period.
Cascade scored 10 points the rest of the first half and two baskets by Forrest's Amanda Chumbley made the score 31-21 after two periods.
In the third quarter, Cascade's Jessica Ervin scored all eight of her points in the contest as the Lady Champions came all the way back with a 13-2 period and a 37-35 lead, entering the final eight minutes.
Hailey Simpson's three-pointer early in the fourth quarter pushed the Cascade lead to five points.
Tayler Andrews came off the bench to spark Forrest, scoring on lay-up and after a Cascade missed shot, Yost scored to cut the Cascade lead to one-point.
Skuce scored for Cascade and moments later, Andrews would steal the ball and feed Yost on the run.
Yost was fouled on the breakout and proceeded to swish both free throws to make it 42-41, forcing a Cascade timeout with 2:47 remaining in the contest.
A missed shot after the stoppage sent Forrest back on the offensive and Holder went to the line after being hacked and tied the game on one out of two from the charity stripe.
After missed shots by both teams, Daughrity rained down a long three-bomb from the top of the key and the huge hometown crowd exploded.
Lady Rockets reign
The Lady Rockets would not allow another Cascade score the rest of the game and put FHS the game away with a Daughrity basket off a pretty Roberson pass and a pair of free throws by Holder and one free throw by Roberson to finish off the five-point victory.
"We made some big shots and we executed well late, which we are used to doing because we are in so many close games, so they weren't rattled," said Jean. "I think we are getting some confidence, even out of the losses. We made some free throws and did not turn the ball over as much, so it was a big win."
Forrest has a long 10-day layoff before they travel to Eagleville on December 21.
"Those last two weeks, we could have very easily been 4-0," said Jean. "So if we can get out of this thing 4-3 the first time around, than I will be pleased."
Daughrity took top scoring honors in the contest with 14 points, Holder ended up in double figures with 10, Yost finished with nine, Roberson netted seven, Chumbley 4 and Andrews and Hannah Phifer finished with a deuce.
"We didn't jack up shots tonight, we took smart shots, in rhythm shots and if we keep doing that, we will get better and better," said Jean.
Skuce had 13 points for Cascade, while Vincent also finished in double figures with 12.