Lady Rockets slip to fourth in 9-A

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca Savannah Brothers (21), who went 6-8 from the free-throw line, drains a fourth quarter toss that pulled Forrest to within one point with a little over a minute to go.

Community was intent on paying back Forrest for their only league loss of the season when the two squads met in Unionville Tuesday night and they got the revenge they were seeking in a 51-45 win.

"We had way too many turnovers tonight, 17 to their seven and they had offensive boards that led to nine points," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "But on the positive note of that, those five at the end that were turning it over played their hearts out and never gave up and did everything we asked them to do."

With the loss, Forrest slipped to 5-5 in District 9-A play, falling to fourth place in the standings while the Viqueens (17-4, 10-1) remained in first place, one game clear of MTCS (19-4, 8-2).

The two squads will meet with first place on the line Friday in Unionville.

Early lead

Forrest held a slim 4-2 early at Unionville Friday night before the Viqueens surged to a 17-10 lead after the first eight minutes.

Early in the second quarter, Sarah Pierce scored for Community to double up the score at 22-11 before Forrest stayed in the game via a 7-2 run to end the first half trailing 24-16.

Kirston Holder banged home a 3-pointer to start the second half, making it a three-point contest at 24-21 and two possessions later, Savannah Brothers scored, slicing the deficit to a single digit.

Community called timeout after the Brothers bucket with 5:33 remaining in the period, but could not score out of the stoppage.

Tight game

Caitlyn Yost (11) rises up for a fourth quarter jumper in the lane for Forrest, who fell 51-45 at Community Friday night.

Caitlyn Yost went to the free throw line, tying the game at 24 and Community missed at the other end, setting up a chance for Forrest to take the lead.

Mercedes Huntley came up with a huge steal and score for the Viqueens, but Margaret Bryan matched the basket for Forrest, re-knotting the contest at 26.

Bryan blocked a shot at the other end, but the Lady Rockets could not convert and Community took advantage with a 6-1 run to end the third quarter.

The Viqueens led by seven points at 42-35 midway through the final stanza when Forrest made a comeback run, eventually tying the game at 42-42 on two Brothers' free throws with 1:32 remaining in the contest.

Final moments

Pierce, who led all scorers in the game with 27 points, drilled a huge 3-pointer before Brothers canned two more charity shots to edge Forrest within one point with 1:04 left.

The Lady Rockets began to foul on purpose and Pierce made two free throws with 27.9 seconds remaining to make it a three-point game.

Forrest coughed up the rock, but stayed in the game when Community missed the front end of a one and one and Jean called timeout with 20.4 seconds left.

Yost was held on the ensuing inbounds play and hit one foul shot with the clock stopped.

10 seconds later, Pierce drained both ends of a one and one, sealing the deal for the Viqueens.

Looking ahead

"We are just trying to get better for the tournament, try to win out, fix some things, and try to get some confidence," said Jean. "We haven't lost a game yet, we are giving it to people, we haven't gotten beat. They don't see that we are just not doing the little things right, a few things here and a few things there, instead of losing five, we haven't lost any after Christmas."

Emma Thompson had 12 points for the Viqueens, while Jordan Huntley and Davie Barnes added five points apiece, and Mercedes Huntley netted a deuce.

For the Lady Rockets, it was a two-girl show on the offensive end as Yost finished with 20 points and Brothers added 14, while Holder had the one trey, and Bryan, Sierra Waggoner, Hannah Evans and Hailey Collins all dealt a pair.