Lady Rockets stumble in home loss
After winning eight out of their last 10 ballgames, the Forrest Lady Rockets stumbled and bumbled versus Eagleville Friday night, losing ugly 39-31.
"We didn't want to let this slip away, but it did," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "We played good defense, holding them to 39 points, but we didn't block out good at all, they got too many second chance baskets and that is what got us."
Before Friday's shocker, Forrest had dominated the Lady Eagles, winning 27-straight games with the last loss coming on Feb. 11, 2003 at Eagleville.
"I told them that after the game and they didn't take it very well," said Jean. "I would rather see it happen now than in a lose-and-go-home game in the tournament like Community a couple of years ago. But, let's give Eagleville credit, they are scrappy and are a pretty good team and they made us play bad tonight."
Forrest outscored Eagleville 7-2 in the first quarter before the Lady Eagles stormed back to take an 8-7 lead on a rebound and put-back by Allison Lynch with 6:08 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Rockets would come back to tie the game at 9-9 moments later on a Caitlyn Yost basket, but incredibly, that would be the last time that game would be even.
Eagleville would see their lead increase to 16-10 on two Kristin Barnes free throws, but a Yost three-pointer and one charity toss by Kyleah Hengesbach cut the visitors' lead to 16-14.
Catching up, but...
A buzzer-beating runner by Alli Burns put Eagleville in front 18-14 at the first half.
Four straight points by Eagleville at the outset of the third quarter made it a 20-14 contest, but once again, Forrest tried to claw their way back, notching five straight points on a Kirston Holder three-bomb and a Yost basket to slice the Eagleville lead to a single digit.
The determined Lady Eagles hung on and took off, outscoring Forrest 9-2 for the remainder of the third stanza to take a 29-21 after three periods of play.
Missed shots, turnovers, and too many second chance opportunities for Eagleville was the name of the game in the final quarter as Forrest fell by the eight-point final margin.
"We were just too passive, we had no energy, they were getting all the loose balls that bounced their way, we watched the game tonight and did not play it," said Jean. "We have to start treating every game as a tournament game and keep that mentality so when the time comes we won't freak out. Tonight, we freaked out, they punched us first and we got on our heels and never recovered."
Yost led the Lady Rockets in the scoring column with 12 points, while Hannah Evans scored seven, Holder netted five, Savannah Brothers added four, Sierra Waggoner netted two, and Hengesbach came up with a single marker.
Lynch and Burns posted 11 points apiece to lead the Eagleville offense, while Barnes scored nine, Nichole Duke added six, and Shania Knox scored a deuce.
On Tuesday, the Lady Rockets traveled to MTCS and got off to a good start, leading 30-27 at the half before the Lady Cougars outscored FHS 23-8 in the third quarter.
Forrest (13-7, 4-2) could not recover and fell 68-61, dropping out of a tie for first place in District 9-A.
Abby Buckner poured in 37 points for MTCS to lead all scorers in the contest.
Yost scored 20 points to lead Forrest, who will try to bounce back on Thursday at home versus Mt. Pleasant for Homecoming.
The Lady Rockets will get another crack at the Lady Cougars on Saturday in Chapel Hill in a make-up game that was postponed from Dec. 6.