Lady Rockets open with overtime win

Friday, November 14, 2014
Kyleah Hengesbach (4) came up huge at the free throw line in overtime for Forrest, making four out of six attempts in the Lady Rockets' 44-41 win over Ravenwood. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets opened the 2014-2015 campaign with a thrilling 44-41 Hall of Fame game overtime win over 3A Ravenwood Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

"It was a good win for us," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "It was exciting if you were watching, I don't know how exciting over there where we were."

Yost blazes lead

Forrest was stoked to start the contest as sophomore Caitlin Yost came out on fire, nailing two field goals and a pair of three throws, giving the Lady Rockets a 6-0 lead to begin the game.

FHS would go up by seven points at 10-3 late in the period before the Lady Raptors went on a 5-0 run capped off by a Colyn Springer 3-pointer to cut the lead to 10-8.

Savannah Brothers scored on a buzzer-beater to give the Chapel Hill girls a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes of the season.

Forrest put together eight straight points to begin period No. 2 when Yost hit both ends of a one-and-one, while Brothers added a three-bomb and a pair of charity shots as the Lady Rockets doubled up the score at 20-10.

The Lady Raptors dug in to keep it close and trailed by eight points, 24-16 at the end of the first half.

Ravenwood rebound

In the third period, Ravenwood outscored Forrest 10-5 as went to work in the low post game, cutting the lead three points at 29-26, entering the fourth quarter.

Ravenwood's Alexis Ahlert and Bailey Swayze continued to pound the ball at the glass, scoring a bucket apiece on rebounds and put-backs to begin the final period, putting the Lady Raptors in the lead for the first time in the game at 30-29 with 5:58 remaining in the contest.

"They started pounded the ball inside on us and we got out of rhythm there in the third quarter and got a little sloppy offensively," said Jean.

The contest would be nip and tuck the rest of the way as Forrest took a 35-33 lead on two Hannah Evans free throws with 1:45 left in the game.

Headed to OT

The Lady Rockets had a chance to ice the game in regulation, but missed four three throws in the final minute and the Raptors capitalized on the misses when Emmy Allen scored on a lay-up with 6.9 seconds remaining to tie the game at 35-35.

Jean called timeout to set up a play, but the last second shot was no good and the game headed to overtime, tied at 35.

Savannah Brothers (21) led all scorers in the contest with 15 points for Forrest in the opening night Hall of Fame game versus Ravenwood.

The lead changed hands twice in the extra period and after a pair of missed free throws by Ravenwood with under two minutes to play, Brothers took a pretty pass from Yost and took it to the rack for two points and was fouled.

Brothers nailed the free throw, giving Forrest a 40-39 lead with 1:01 left on the game.

After a Ravenwood missed shot, sophomore Kyleah Hengesbach stepped to the line and calmly drained both ends of a one-and-one to make it a three point at 42-39.

Once again, Ravenwood missed a pair of charity shots and once again Hengesbach stood tall, making one of two free throws to give Forrest a four-point lead with 14.5 ticks remaining.

"Those were big free throws, especially for a sophomore in her first game starting on her home floor, facing a big school, and we had to have them," said Jean. "She stepped up there and knocked them down and didn't think twice about it."

Allen notched a bucket to make it 43-41 and the Lady Raptors had to foul Hengesbach with 2.7 seconds left to try to stay in the game.

Hengesbach made one charity tossed and missed the second, but time ran out on Ravenwood, who did not get a shot off and the game ended with FHS taking the three-point victory.

Maturity

"I think we lose that game last year, I don't think we were mature enough to withstand having a lead, losing a lead, getting it back, losing it again, and having to come back and win it," said Jean. "This year I think everybody has grown up some and they showed it tonight. 1-0 is good, they are a good team, this got us better and we physically hung in there with them, when it got chippy, we got better."

Brothers led all scorers in the contest with 15 points, Yost scored 11, Evans had nine, Hengesbach finished with all six of her points from the free throw line, and Sierra Waggoner had a deuce for Forrest.

Allen and Kiera Downey led Ravenwood in the scoring column with nine points apiece, Megan Hawkins added seven, Ahlert finished with six points, Swayze netted four, Colyn Springer had three, and White scored two points.

Forrest will travel to Houston County Friday night to end their Hall of Fame game stint before returning home on Tuesday to take on the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs with tip-off set for 6 p.m.