Phifer leads Lady Rockets over Fayetteville

Friday, February 1, 2013
Forrest basketball manager Ashton Bagsby, posing with her parents Chuck and Stacey Bagsby, has been on the job for four years. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets picked up a crucial win Tuesday in Chapel Hill on senior night, taking down the Fayetteville City Lady Tigers 58-37.

With the win, coupled with Cascade's 49-44 victory over MTCS (14-10, 7-6), Forrest (10-16, 6-6) now controls its own destiny and can finish in third place in District 9-A with triumphs at Community (14-9, 8-5) on Friday and in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon versus Eagleville (6-17, 2-10).

"We just have to win, if we win, we are good," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "We are just trying to get some momentum and some confidence."

The Lady Rockets' five seniors took the floor and started the game a little melancholy and maybe had some makeup smeared about as they fell behind 6-0 before Hannah Phifer drilled a three-pointer with 3:05 remaining in the first quarter.

"I think it may have been an emotional time for those five seniors," said Jean. "They were just trying to be patient, trying to get the right shot at the right time."

After a Lady Tiger missed shot, Phifer scored off a nice pass from Caitlyn Yost, cutting the Fayetteville lead to a single digit.

Fayetteville standout Paeshence Thompson, who led all scorers in the contest with 20 points, scored to make it 8-5 before Savannah Brothers tied the game with a corner three-bomb.

"She (Thompson) is a great player, she can jump out of the gym," said Jean. "It's scary how good she can be, she has a great upside."

Jasmine Parks seesawed the lead back to Fayetteville, but another Phifer three-pointer gave the Lady Rockets their first lead of the game at 11-10 with 1:45 left in the period.

Fayetteville got a three-pointer by Tamia Baker to go-ahead for the last time, before a Candace Daughrity buzzer-beater re-knotted the contest at 13 after the first eight minutes.

The Lady Rockets came out fired up to begin period number two, reeling off 10 straight points, beginning with another Brothers trey.

Daughrity followed with a score off a Yost assist, Brothers drilled her third rainbow of the game to make it 21-13, and Kirston Holder finished the run with a steal and score.

Forrest senior Hannah Phifer (35) buries one of her three treys in Tuesday's ballgame in Chapel Hill as the Lady Rockets beat Fayetteville 58-37 on senior night.

Fayetteville would fight their way back into the game with a 10-4 run to get to within four points late, but consecutive buckets at the end of the period by Phifer and Amanda Chumbley gave Forrest a 31-23 halftime lead.

Thompson muscled in two baskets on consecutive trips down the floor to begin the second half and the Lady Tigers had the ball after a Forrest missed shot with a chance to cut the Lady Rockets' lead to two points.

Holder came up with a huge steal and fed Daughrity for a score, and after a Fayetteville miscue, Yost scored on a rebound and put-back, upping the blue and white's lead to eight points.

Fayetteville called timeout with 2:59 remaining in the third period, but they turned the ball over and Yost scored again, making it a 10-point margin at 37-27.

Two foul shots by Kerry Brown stopped the bleeding for Fayetteville, but only momentarily, as Scarlett Roberson scored after a Phifer steal and with seconds remaining in the quarter, Phifer buried her final trey of the contest, making it 42-29, entering the final eight minutes of action.

Yost scored to begin the fourth quarter, Phifer followed with a steal and score, and after a Fayetteville missed shot, Daughrity knocked in a dagger rebound, extending Forrest's lead to 48-29.

From there, it was all Lady Rockets, who went on to win by the 21-point margin, keeping their hopes alive for a first-round district tournament game.

Phifer led Forrest with 17 points, including a trio of long bombs.

Yost ended up with 12 points, Daughrity finished in double figures with 10 points, Brothers' three treys gave her nine, Chumbley netted four, and Roberson, Holder, and Margaret Bryan all finished with a deuce.

Brown finished with six points for Fayetteville, Baker scored five, and Lexie Horton, Parks, and Liz Gurley all netted two points apiece.

Saturday's make-up game with Eagleville is slated to begin at 2 p.m.