Lady Rockets alone at the top in 9-A

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The Forrest Lady Rockets were fired up before Friday night's big district battle with Community. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets (13-5, 4-0) started the New Year with a bang,beating arch rival Community 39-37 in Chapel Hill Friday night to take over first place in District 9-A.

"They were undefeated in the district and so were we, so now we are a game up on them and the way we played in the Christmas tournament, this was a great way to come back," said FHS head Coach Jeremy Jean. "Defensively, we played the best we have all year and we got some breaks because we played hard."

Forrest jumped out quick versus the Viqueens, eventually taking a 10-3 lead after a Hannah Evans three-pointer midway through the first period.

Viqueen threat

Community (11-3, 4-1) fought back behind Sarah Pierce, who drilled a three-pointer and scored again moments later, cutting the Forrest lead to 10-8.

Forrest's Kirston Holder and Viqueen post Erin Thompson traded buckets to end the stanza with the hometown girls holding a 12-10 lead.

The Lady Rockets owned the hard court for the next eight minutes,outscoring the Viqueens 10-2 with Caitlyn Yost leading the charge.

Yost would score six points in the period, including a three-pointer to go along with a Margaret Bryan bucket off a pretty pass from Holder and a late Evans fast break basket.

Margaret Bryan (3) scored five points for Forrest in an all-around solid effort Friday night in Chapel Hill as the Lady Rockets took over first place in District 9-A with a 39-37 win over Community.

Defensive change

"We were attacking in the first half and type of defense they were playing allowed that," said Jean. "In the second half, they came out and played zone and we are going to see a lot of that because we struggle, but that is my fault and we will fix it."

Forrest would take a 22-12 lead to the locker room and in the third period, the Lady Rockets would maintain the 10-point bulge for much of the quarter before Community surged late to trail by seven points at 29-22.

Bryan hit one free throw to start the final eight minutes before the Unionville girls scored five straight, slicing the Forrest lead to 30-27.

Bryan banged in a rebound at the other end, momentarily staving off the oncoming 6-0 Viqueen rally that was capped off by a Pierce three-bomb, giving Community a 33-32 lead with 2:55 remaining in the contest.

Tight times

Kyleah Hengesbach would tie the game from the free throw line at the 2:33 mark, but Pierce hit two free throws to edge back in front by two points and after a FHS miss, Community had the ball.

The Viqueens were in no hurry, but Holder was, swiping the rock from the visitors before tossing it to Evans on the run for the game-tying bucket with 1:22 left in the game.

Mercedes Huntley and Evans added two free throws each as the clock ticked down when Hengesbach came up with a steal and fed Yost, who hit one of two from the charity after being fouled to nudge the Lady Rockets in front 38-37 and the Viqueens called timeout with 17.6 seconds left in the battle.

Final seconds

The Viqueens missed after the stoppage and after a scramble on the floor Forrest grabbed the ball fed Evans, who was fouled with 5.9 seconds remaining in the contest and Community called timeout.

Evans drained one of two and the Viqueens would not score before the buzzer sounded, giving the Lady Rockets the two-point win.

Evans led the Lady Rockets with 12 points, while Yost added 10, Savannah Brothers scored seven, Bryan finished with five points, Hailey Collins and Holder scored a deuce apiece, and Hengesbach netted one point.

Road win

Pierce led all scorers in the contest with 19 points.

On Saturday, the Chapel Hill girls boarded the yellow bus for a trip to Summertown where the Lady Rockets came roaring back from a 28-21 halftime deficit to take a 56-44 win over the Lady Eagles.

Yost poured in 21 points in the victory, including a trio of treys and a perfect 4-4 performance from the free throw line.

Caitlyn Yost (11) hit a big free throw down the stretch Friday night versus Community before pouring in 21 points at Summertown in Saturday night's 56-44 win over the Lady Eagles.

Evans and Brothers were both in double figures with 13 points each, Holder added five points, and Collins and Sierra Waggoner added two points apiece.

Kenzie Kilburn led the Lady Eagles with 19 points and Lori Long added 13.