Lady Rockets clinch third place
Easy win Friday, harder victory Saturday; Huntland invades for tournament opener
After pillaging the Community Viqueens 60-31 in Unionville Friday night, the Forrest Lady Rockets took on a scrappy Eagleville squad Saturday afternoon in a make-up game, barley escaping 42-39.
"They got up in our face and we weren't ready for it after coming off a pretty big high from last night at Community," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "But, we weathered the storm and got the lead and held on to it."
Third in 9-A
With the win, Forrest clinched third place in the final District 9-A regular season standings and will host Huntland Friday night in the first round of the district tournament.
"It's good to get that home game," said Jean. "It's good to end up from where we started, from seventh to third, but all of our games were decided by single digits and that will help us at tournament time."
Forrest came out stale and the Lady Eagles took advantage, leading 11-6 after the first quarter and by seven points at 13-6 after an Allison Lynch basket to begin quarter number two.
The Lady Rockets finally found the mark, early in the second quarter, beginning with a Kirston Holder circus lay-up that began a 12-0 run for Forrest.
Three times two
Back-to-back three-pointers by Savannah Brothers followed the Holder basket and the two Brothers' treys were followed by a Caitlyn Yost basket and two Holder free throws to give Forrest an 18-13 lead with just over two minutes to go in the first half.
The Lady Eagles came right back, tying the game at 18 on a Nichole Duke basket in the paint and a Kenya Hackney 3-bomb.
A Hannah Phifer three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in the half gave Forrest a 21-18 lead, entering the third period.
A Candace Daughrity bucket off a nice dish from Holder put the Lady Rockets up 25-19 early in the period, before five points by Duke cut the lead to a single digit at 25-24.
Eagleville would not score the remainder of the third quarter, while Forrest added five more points on a Yost rebound and put-back, plus one Tayler Andrews free throw, and a Hannah Evans bucket, giving the Lady Rockets a 30-24 lead, entering the final eight minutes.
Tayler Reed scored for the Lady Eagles to start the final period, but Evans negated the points with a three-bomb and Forrest would move ahead, leading by eight points at 39-31 after a Holder basket with 3:21 remaining in the game.
The Lady Rockets were the only ones that could let Eagleville back in the game and they did, thanks to a poor 3-10 performance from the free throw line down the stretch.
"If we shoot like that from the free throw line next week, we will be going home early," said Jean.
Eagleville was able to whittle the Forrest lead all the way down to just three points and they had the ball with a chance to tie with 4.7 seconds remaining in the contest but a desperation heave was just off the mark.
Forrest escaped with the three-point win and third place league finish, setting up the date with a Huntland squad that have split two games with the Lady Rockets this season.
"It's going to be a good game," said Jean. "I don't they are going to change much and we aren't either. We are getting better at what we do since we played them the last time, we just have to stay focused, do the little things right and win the game."
Yost was the only Forrest player in double figures in the scoring column with 10 points.
Brothers and Holder ended up with eight points apiece, while Evans scored seven, Daughrity netted four points, Phifer had three, and Scarlett Roberson and Andrews both netted a deuce.
Nichole Johnson, Duke, and Kristin Barnes all netted 10 for Eagleville.