FMS Lady Rockets win home opener

Friday, October 25, 2013
Caitlin McKenzie (33) scores two of her 10 points in the contest on this low-post bucket in the third period. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The FMS Lady Rockets displayed some early season resiliency, coming back from a lopsided defeat at Moore County on Monday to put the clamps on Westwood 33-16 Tuesday night in their home opener in Chapel Hill.

"I am proud of the girls, they battled and fought hard tonight," said FMS head coach Rhea Webb. "We told them today's a new day, tonight's a new game and they did not let last night affect them and they came out ready to play tonight."

Starting right

Jordan Yelensky (23) nails a second-quarter jumper for FMS, which beat Westwood 33-16 in their home opener Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

Forrest gained the early momentum on the boards and the defensive end as Katey Harmon opened the scoring on a rebound and put-back and moments later, Emma Stacey came up with a steal and passed off to Madison Curtis, who found Harmon in the open floor for another basket, making it 4-0.

Hannah Jenkins and Morgan Jones scored for Westwood to tie the game before both teams went into a scoring drought until the 2:13 mark of the first period when Harmon stole the rock away from her namesakes from Manchester and sped in for an open layup and a free throw.

Harmon missed the foul shot, but Caitlin McKenzie was there for the rebound and put-back, making it an 8-4 ballgame.

McKenzie would score on another glass cleaning play late in the period to give the Lady Rockets a six-point lead, entering the second quarter.

Ahead to stay

Forrest turned up the defensive pressure to begin the stanza as Curtis came up with a theft and went to the free throw line where she made one of two.

It was all Lady Rockets from there as Jordan Yelensky converted a put-back for two points and another Harmon steal and score made it a 15-4 contest.

McKenzie capped off the 11-0 run that began in the first period with a low post move to increase the FMS lead to 17-4 before Westwood finally broke the drought on a basket by Jenkins with 42.3 seconds remaining in the first half.

Harmon matched the Westwood bucket with one of her own to end the first half, putting the Lady Rockets up by 13 points.

Byanka Woods scored for Westwood after FMS missed four straight foul shots at the outset of the second half.

Big run

The Lady Rockets soared again, scoring five straight points on a McKenzie basket off an assist by Harmon, one free throw by Harmon, and a Yelensky bucket via a Harmon dish, giving Forrest their biggest lead of the game at 24-8 with three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Manchester staved off the runaway Rockets with six straight points to end the third quarter, cutting the FMS lead to ten points after 18 minutes of action in Chapel Hill.

There would be no letdown by Forrest in the final six minutes as they took a stranglehold on the game by scoring nine straight points.

The FMS defense came close to shutting out the Westwood girls in the fourth quarter, but a Kayleigh Alford basket with under 10 seconds to go in the contest broke the goose egg.

Scoring

Harmon led all scorers in the contest with 13 points, McKenzie was also in double figures with 10, Yelensky etched a half dozen into the scorebook, Kayla Gillespie netted a deuce, while Curtis and Shasta Beaty had one point apiece.

"They came out with confidence tonight, we ran our plays, executed well and they are coming together as a team," said Webb. "We have to get back to work and get ready for Thursday night and I think we will be ready for what will be a tough game."

FMS hosts Community on Thursday before three games next week, beginning with MTCS on the road on Monday, followed by a pair of home games versus Eagleville on Tuesday and Cascade on Halloween night.