Lady Rockets freeze in loss
MTCS pulls into lead in final quarter; Forrest looks toward tough Community
It's going to be a catfight in District 9A this season and if it is anything like Tuesday night's game at Forrest, the ride will be a wild adventure to the finish.
"The loss last night hurts, but it isn't the end of the season," FHS coach Jeremy said. "We are a work in progress right now. I think that we played well offensively for three quarters and played great defense for three and a half quarters."
Forrest hosted Middle Tennessee Christian School in just the second league game for both squads that came in with a 1-0 records and for the longest time, it was the Lady Rockets in the driver's seat until a fourth-quarter meltdown cost them a 48-42 loss.
"I think that our youth and inexperience showed up last night late in the game," Jean said. "It appeared that we were trying to stall the ball in the fourth quarter and we weren't, we were trying to make them come out and guard us to open up some driving lanes for Caitlyn (Yost).
"That is something that we will get better at, knowing the difference in stalling and being patient."
It was a highly spirted affair from the outset and a well-played game by both teams.
Points were hard to come by in the first quarter with the first basket coming on a 3-pointer by Forrest's Kyleah Hengesbach with 5:23 remaining in the period.
The Lady Rockets would hold a slim lead until two foul shots by Mary Claire Dutton edged MTCS in front 7-6.
Yost would go 4-for-4 at the free throw line on the next two Forrest trips to the offensive zone, making it 10-7.
Abby Buckner would score for the Lady Cougars, but Hailey Collins fired down a 3-pointer, giving FHS a 13-9 lead.
MTCS stole three points right back when Kayla Taylor netted a three-point play the old-fashioned way and the first quarter ended with FHS up by one point.
The second quarter was exciting basketball with the lead changing hands several times until a late basket by Sydney Hill, followed by a Hengesbach bucket at the end of the half gave Forrest a 29-24 lead at the intermission.
A Collins basket midway through the third quarter pushed the Forrest lead 38-31 until the cold spell began.
Lady Cougars shine
MTCS would not score any more points in the period and the only Forrest basket came on a buzzer-beater by Yost as the Lady Rockets entered the fourth period with a 40-31 lead.
Buckner and Yost exchanged baskets to begin the final period and over the next four and a half minutes, the Lady Cougars came up with three huge steals that turned into points at the other end and eventually, the visitors took a 43-42 lead with 2:32 remaining in the contest.
"We had some costly turnovers in the fourth quarter, ones that we threw to them for scores is what really hurt," Jean said. "Walks or throwing the ball out of bounds at least gives us a chance to play half-court defense, which I thought was good last night. We gave up some run outs and transition buckets that made us panic a little on offense."
Forrest (5-5, 1-1) would not score again as the Lady Cougars (6-1, 1-1) took the all-important road win.
The two teams will meet again on January 22, 2016 at Unionville.
The Lady Rockets hit the road until the New Year with the only home game coming on December 21 when they host Lincoln County.
"Going on the road in our district is tough, but that is why we have played the schedule that we have," Jean commented. "Our five losses are to teams that lost a combined nine games."
A trip to Community tonight begins a three-game travel plan with stops in Unionville, Summertown and Eagleville.
"The game against Community is a big game, but we look at every game as a big game," said Jean. "Community is well-coached and has a lot of experience and it is going to be a tough game, but a winnable game if we can come out and play with emotion and together----together on defense and offense, know our assignments and not lose our poise. We have to find a way to stop their runs with runs of our own."
MTCS 12 12 7 17-48
FHS 13 16 11 2-42
MTCS-Ashlynd Wilkerson 22, Abby Buckner 14, Mary Clair Dutton 8, Cammie Adams 3, Kayla Taylor 3.
Three-point goals-Buckner 2, Wilkerson 1.
Free throws-Taylor 1-2, Adams 1-4, Wilkerson 2-5, Dutton 4-4.
FHS-Caitlyn Yost 17, Kyleah Hengesbach 5, Hailey Collins 5, Madison Curtis 5, Katey Harmon 4, Sydney Hill 4, Krista Chapman 2.
Three-point goals-Hengesbach 1, Collins 1, Curtis 1.
Free throws-Yost 7-7, Curtis 2-4, Harmon 2-2.