Forrest continues torrid pace with sweep of Cascade
Forrest Middle School's basketball squads continued their torrid pace, winning three straight games in a week, including a sweep of Cascade Monday night at Chapel Hill.
The Lady Rockets (9-2), coming off big wins at Cornersville and Huntland, blasted Cascade 41-23 behind 16 points by Laura Ann Mealer and 14 from Ally Blanton.
The Lady Rockets strategy has been to employ a pressing defense from the start of game to convert turnovers into transition baskets and that's what they did to the Lady Champions.
Forrest's Jenna Blanton came up with a pair of steals and scores to begin the game, and Shea Lewis followed with a bucket in the low post to make it 6-0.
A Cascade missed shot led to Jenna Blanton's 3-pointer before the Lady Champs finally got on the board on Elli Chumley's basket with 2:40 left in the first period. FMS led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter, and the second period started like the first as Mealer had a steal and a bucket.
Kailey Snell scored for Cascade to make it 17-6 before Mealer scored on an inbounds play and Anna Blanton followed with a steal and score for a 21-6 cushion.
Carmen Ray made the last basket for Cascade in the first half, but Mealer scorched the nets for two more buckets before the end of the half for a 25-8 lead at intermission.
Forrest won a low-scoring third period 8-6 to lead 33-14 entering the fourth quarter.
An Ally Blanton basket started the final six minutes of play on the way to the easy win.
Jenna Blanton ended up with seven points, Anna Blanton and Lewis both had two points and Zoe Long and Kaydee Todd had one foul shot apiece.
The FMS boys (8-3) also beat Cornersville and Huntland before facing a tough Cascade squad. After the teams traded early runs, the game settled into a close affair the Rockets eventually pulled out 45-38 on a late surge.
The Rockets jumped to an 11-1 lead on a pair of Spencer McCown 3-pointers, a trey by Ryley McClaran and a steal and score by Cole Villazon.
Cascade fought back hard on both ends of the floor behind four blocked shots in the period by Ethan Swan that fueled a run of 11 straight points the rest of the quarter for a 12-11 lead.
Brandon Heath came up with a steal and score for the Champions to open the second quarter before Villazon nailed a 3-pointer and moments later he converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way, giving the Rockets a 17-14 lead with 3:39 left to play in the half.
Cascade didn't give in, coming up with a 10-5 spurt for a 24-22 lead at halftime.
FMS catches up
FMS won the third period 7-6 to trail 30-29 entering the final six minutes. Villazon drilled a trey to start the fourth quarter, but Cascade's Seth Countess made a basket, tying the game at 32-32.
McCown threw down his third long bomb of the game and McClaran followed with a runner in the lane to open up a 37-32 lead for FMS. Bryson Holt hit a free throw for Cascade, but Forrest ran off six straight points for a 10-point lead with a minute left.
Cascade tried to fight back one last time, cutting the FMS lead in half on a Countess 3-pointer, but McClaran iced the game from the foul line, hitting both ends of a one-and-one with 7.7 seconds left.