Untimely turnovers sink Lady Rockets
A major turnaround doesn't seem to be in the cards for the Forrest Lady Rockets, who turned in a solid first half effort at home Friday night, only to see it slip away in a 62-49 loss to the Community Viqueens.
"The way we played the first half was very good, we did a lot of the things we were wanting to do," said Forrest coach Jeremy Jean.
"The biggest difference in the first half and the second was we turned the ball over more and we let them get physical with us."
Still in 4th
Forrest (16-7, 4-6) has lost four out of its last five league contests and remained tied for fourth place with Moore County (15-9, 4-6), while the first-place Viqueens (16-6, 11-0), stayed undefeated in District 9-A play and will be the top seed in the upcoming district tournament.
"Our record is a little disappointing, but what we have to realize is that we led in each of those loses, and five were by four points or less," said Jean. "If we play two possessions differently, whether it be don't turn it over, get a stop, or grab a loose ball, we could be 9-1."
The first quarter was hotly contested from the outset as the Viqueens managed to creep in front 14-11 on two Mercedes Huntley free throws late, but a Caitlin Yost bucket, followed by two charity shots from Savannah Brothers with four seconds remaining in the period edged the Lady Rockets in front 15-14.
A Brothers rebound and put-back gave Forrest their biggest lead of the game at four points early in the second period, but the resilient Viqueens came back to tie the game at the 1:25 mark on a Lacey Reed bucket in the paint.
Forrest's Haily Collins answered with a layup to tie the game before the Lady Rockets lone turnover of the quarter led to a pair Sarah Pierce free throws for Community.
The first half ended on a high note for the Chapel Hill girls when Kyleah Hengesbach buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving Forrest a 28-25 lead.
Community took advantage of some sloppy play by the Lady Rockets to begin the second half, reeling off nine straight points in two minutes to take a 34-28 lead.
The Viqueens continued to surge, extending its lead to 12-points at 46-34, but the Lady Rockets dug in with a 7-0 run to end the period on a Brothers put-back, a three-point play in the paint by Hannah Evans, and driving lay-up by Yost, slicing the deficit to five points, entering the fourth quarter.
A Yost basket midway through the final quarter cut the Community lead to four points at 48-44, but from there the Viqueens took control, finishing the game with a 14-3 run to claim the 13-point victory.
Yost led all scorers in the game with 19 points, while Sarah Pierce had 16 points to lead the Viqueens in the scoring column.
"We played well for three quarters, but we have to improve on that and start putting together four quarters a night," said Jean. "If we can do that, we are going to be a tough out, come tournament time."
Community 14 11 21 16 -- 62
Forrest 15 13 13 8 --- 49
Community: Sarah Pierce 16, Mercedes Huntley 13, Erin Thompson 11, Lacey Reed 10, Davie Barnes 8, Alyssa Freeman 4, Jordan Huntley.
Forrest: Caitlyn Yost 19, Hannah Evans 13, Savannah Brothers 6, Kyleah Hengesbach 5, Margaret Bryan 1, Haily Collins 5, Sierra Waggoner, Tamia Northcutt, Krista Chapman.
3-Point goals: Community (2): Pierce, M. Huntley; Forrest (1): Hengesbach.
Halftime score: Forrest 28, Community 25.