Raiderettes top Forrest in overtime
In three weeks, the Lady Rockets have gone from atop District 9-A into a freefall, losing four out of their last five district games with the latest setback coming at the hands of Moore County when they dealt Forrest a 55-53 overtime loss in Chapel Hill Tuesday night.
With the setback, Forrest (15-9, 5-4) dropped to fourth place in the league standings, while the Raiderettes (15-9, 6-3) took over the third spot.
Lead at start
The game started in the Lady Rockets' favor as Hailey Collins drained a 3-pointer, followed by baskets from Caitlyn Yost and Hannah Evans that put Forrest up 7-0.
Moore County, starting five eighth graders in the contest, scored the next 12 points to take a 12-7 lead after the first eight minutes.
Savannah Brothers drilled a 3-pointer to begin the second period, pulling Forrest to within two points and that would be the margin until a pair of Kirston Hawkins baskets and a Sloan Mann bucket in the paint put Moore County in front 20-14.
The Lady Rockets fought back on a single free throw by Brothers and a late 3-pointer by Evans to trail by one point at the half 20-19.
After the two squads traded baskets to kick off the second half, Forrest pushed their way out in front on two Yost charity shots with 5:46 remaining in the third period.
Moore Co. run
Evans hit another 3-pointer moments later to make it a 27-25 ballgame before Moore County went on a 10-2 run to end the stanza with a 35-29 lead.
The Raiderettes would lead by five points several times in the final period with the last coming on a Chrissy Lockhard basket in the post with two minutes remaining in the contest.
Forrest scratched and clawed, trying to stave off the upset and pulled to within one point at 48-47 on a Brothers three-bomb with 25 seconds left in the game and Forrest called timeout.
After the stoppage, Brothers stole the inbounds pass and was fouled with 23.9 seconds left.
Brothers would hit the game-tying free throw, but missed the second and Moore County called timeout with 14.9 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Raiderettes would not score out of the timeout and the game went to overtime.
In the O.T. period, one Kinsley Logan free throw gave Moore County a 49-48 lead before Hailey Collins drilled a long three-pointer, putting the Lady Rockets in the lead 51-49.
Logan would score at the other end to re-knot the contest at 51 and Yost and Lockhard traded baskets, making it a 53-53 tie.
The Lady Rockets turned the ball over at the worst time and Lockhard went to the free throw, but missed both shots.
Incredibly, Hawkins came up with the rebound on Lockhard's second miss and Moore County called timeout with 18 ticks left on the clock.
Mann was fouled with five seconds left and calmly drained both free throws to give Moore County a 55-53 lead.
Forrest went the other way and had a chance at the game-tying layup, but the ball clanked off the rim and the Raiderettes took the win.
Evans and Brothers had 16 points apiece to lead Forrest in the scoring column, while Yost ended up with 13, Collins added six points, and Tamia Northcutt netted a deuce.
Hawkins, an eighth-grade transfer from Manchester, led the Raiderettes with 16 points, while Mann had 14.
Forrest has a three crucial league games remaining, beginning Friday night at Community when the Viqueens will look to avenge their only district loss of the season, a 39-37 setback in Chapel Hill on Jan. 3.