Raiderettes bust Forrest win streak
The Forrest Lady Rockets were riding high on a nine-game winning streak coming into Friday night's big District 9A showdown with Moore County, and for the fourth year in a row, the Raiderettes won in Chapel Hill with the last three losses decided by three points or less.
"We led the whole game, but then we decided to try not to lose the game, just doing what we were supposed to do, make layups, make free throws, play defense, and we didn't do any of those things," said Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean. "I'll take the blame for that, I might have called a timeout or could have subbed some people in, but we will get over, we have to because we have to go over to Community Monday night and get a win."
Moore County standout Kursten Hawkins, who led all scorers in the contest with 24 points, scored half of that total in the fourth quarter, including a perfect 10-10 performance from the free throw line in the final eight minutes.
"She stepped up and made some big plays tonight," said Jean. "Their big playmakers stepped up tonight and ours didn't and that was the difference in the game."
The Lady Rockets held a slim 10-7 lead after the first quarter before Hawkins tied the game early in the second quarter at 12-12.
A Caitlin Yost basket put the Lady Rockets back in front, beginning a red-hot streak of 10 points in a row for Forrest, while the defense held Moore County scoreless the remainder of the first half.
Kyleah Hengesbach had six points in the quarter for Forrest, who took a 20-12 lead to the halftime locker room.
Hengesbach hit one free throw early in the third quarter, giving Forrest their biggest lead at 23-12.
Makayla Ray nailed a 3-pointer for Moore County and after one free throw by Savannah Brothers, Hawkins went deep for the Raiderettes, making it a 24-18 contest.
Ray would hit one more free throw and Forrest's Margaret Bryan would nail two charity shots to put the Lady Rockets in front 26-19, but Hawkins came up with a rebound and put-back as the third quarter clock expired, cutting the Chapel Hill lead to 26-21, entering the final eight minutes of play.
A Hannah Evans basket early in the fourth quarter gave the Lady Rockets a 30-23 lead before a Hawkins bucket, followed by Kinsley Logan 3-bomb made it a two-point game at 30-28.
Yost would hit two free throws with 1:45 left and Logan would make one free toss for Moore County.
Evans kept the Lady Rockets in front by three points with a basket in the low post, but Logan made one of two from the free throw line with just over a minute to go, setting the stage for the Moore County comeback.
After a Forrest missed shot, Hawkins went to the free throw and buried both attempts, putting Moore County in the lead with 55.7 seconds remaining in the contest.
Forrest was unable to score after a timeout and Hawkins buried two more foul shots moments later.
Yost cut the Raiderettes' lead back to a single digit with two foul shots with 33 seconds left, but Hawkins would ice the game, making four out four foul shots in the waning seconds, securing the win for Moore County (9-3, 2-2).
"I felt like tonight we played like a white collar team instead of blue collar and we felt like they should just give us the game because we have been on a winning streak," said Jean. "But that is not us and we will get it fixed on Sunday."
Forrest (10-2, 2-1) was led in the scoring column by Yost and Hengesbach, who tallied 11 points apiece.
Evans ended up with nine points, and Hailey Collins and Brothers had a deuce apiece.