Lady Rockets turn back Westwood
After a slow start, the FMS Lady Rockets fired up the engines in the second half to come away with 26-23 win over their namesakes from Westwood Monday night in Chapel Hill.
The Manchester girls sprinted out to a big 7-0 first-quarter lead, holding FMS scoreless until Anna Blanton drained a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
Sydney Hill started things off with a bucket in the paint for FMS to begin quarter No. 2 as the Lady Rockets scratched and clawed their way back into the contest.
Kayla Gillespie provided a big boost to the cause, coming up with a huge three-point play on a drive to the hoop after a steal by Anna King, making it a 9-8 contest and forcing a Westwood timeout with 2:01 remaining in the first half.
Haley Miller scored for Westwood after the stoppage, but Kayla Gillespie went on the run again, converting a fast-break basket, slicing the lead to one point again.
Morgan Jones scored the final point of the first half on a free throw for Manchester, who took a 12-10 lead to the locker room.
Hill finished the climb up the comeback mountain for the Lady Rockets, scoring on back-to-back trips down the floor to begin the second half, giving Forrest a lead they would not surrender for the rest of the night.
After one Westwood free throw made it 14-13, FMS turned up the defensive pressure on the visitors, holding them scoreless the rest of the period.
Stevie Ray scored in the paint for FMS, making it 16-13 and that would be the way the score would remain until Ally Blanton drained back-to-back three-bombs in the final minute, boosting the Lady Rockets' lead to 22-13, heading into the final six minutes of play.
Westwood used the long-distance shot to mount a serious comeback as Jones banged down a pair of treys and Karen Medina threw down a third, slicing Forrest's lead to 24-21 with 3:21 remaining in the contest.
Hill and Jones traded buckets making it 26-23 and that would be the score at the end of the game as Westwood could not convert on some free-throw opportunities down the stretch.
Hill led the Lady Rockets in the scoring column with eight points, while Ally Blanton had a half dozen on the pair of third-period treys, Kayla Gillespie netted five, Anna Blanton had one 3-pointer, and Ray and Emily Yost rounded out the scoring with a deuce apiece.
Jones led all scorers in the contest with 14 points, while Medina had four points for Westwood, Ashley Starks scored three, and Haley Miller ended up with two points.