Lady Rockets stifle Cornersville
The Forrest Lady Rockets (13-16) recorded their fourth straight win on Monday night when they went on the road and defeated county rival Cornersville 52-40 to earn a split in the season series with the Lady Bulldogs.
Cornersville (18-6) had beaten the Lady Rockets 39-37 on Nov. 19, but Forrest turned the tables on the Lady Bulldogs in Monday's contest, as they built a 25-21 lead in the first half before opening up a 51-36 advantage late in the fourth quarter en route to claiming the 12-point victory.
Heart vs. head
"I felt like our heart was in the right place tonight, but our head wasn't in it. We just came unraveled. I think we probably put too much emphasis on who we were playing and got a little too high for the game," said CHS coach Micah Landers. "Hats off to Forrest though. They did a good job of guarding us and we couldn't do anything right."
The Lady Rockets kept Cornersville's offense under wraps for much of the night and limited the Lady Bulldogs to only 13 field goals on 33 percent shooting, which included a 2-of-10 effort from three-point range, while forcing 28 CHS turnovers.
"I think we made them play a little faster than they did at our place. With their length, we can't play a half court game against them. We were able to make it a full court game with our press," said Forrest coach Jeremy Jean. "Hopefully we've got some confidence now. We've been beat up all year and lost a lot of close games so maybe this win streak will give us a mental edge going into the District tournament on Friday night."
Although FHS shot only 33 percent (18-of-55) from the floor as well, they hit 6-of-18 attempts from beyond the arc and committed 17 turnovers. Cornersville outrebounded the Lady Rockets 34-29, but Forrest held a 14-12 edge on the offensive glass.
Savannah Brothers led the Lady Rockets with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Caitlyn Yost and Candace Daughrity tallied 11 and nine points respectively with Yost grabbing eight rebounds. Hannah Phifer also added six points and Scarlett Roberson notched five points. Tayler Andrews chipped in three points for Forrest as well and Kirston Holder had two points.
Brittany Umbles recorded a double-double and paced the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocked shots. Ashley Umbles followed her older sister with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while Brooke Holt tallied 10 points. Kaleigh Welch and Breanne Dunkleman rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with three and two points respectively.
Early Forrest head
The Lady Rockets grabbed the momentum early and jumped out to an 8-3 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to baskets from Yost, Daughrity, Holder, and Phifer.
CHS cut the deficit to 8-7 late in the first quarter on a pair of layups by Ashley Umbles, but Forrest outscored the Lady Bulldogs 13-8 over the next 5:43 with the help of nine points from Brothers and two baskets from Yost to open up a 21-15 advantage late in the second period.
Cornersville narrowed the gap to 21-19 behind two free throws apiece from Holt and Brittany Umbles, before Andrews and Phifer sandwiched a trey and a foul shot around a Ashley Umbles lay up to give the Lady Rockets a 25-21 lead at halftime.
Opening it up
FHS then opened up some breathing room in the third quarter by putting together a 14-7 run on the strength of five points from Brothers and a couple of threes from Phifer and Roberson to forge a 39-28 advantage at the end of the stanza.
The Lady Bulldogs then trimmed the deficit to 41-32 midway through the fourth quarter thanks to two layups from Brittany Umbles, but Forrest outscored CHS 10-4 over the next three minutes with the aid of five free throws from Daughrity and baskets from Yost and Brothers to push their lead to 51-36 before taking home the 52-40 win.