Lady Rockets chase good tourney seed
The Forrest Lady Rockets began the second time around the District 9-A slate with a trip to Fayetteville Friday night, looking to string together a winning streak before the start of the upcoming district tournament at Chapel Hill.
"It is always good to get a district win, especially on the road," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "I thought that we came out flat on offense and was settling for jumpers when we could have gotten the ball in the paint or short corner for some easy shots."
Forrest went deep on the Lady Tigers, knocking down eight 3-pointers in a 45-27 win in a game in which they never trailed.
Hailey Collins began the long ball barrage, draining a pair of 3-pointers and one foul shot to begin the game as Forrest jumped out to an early 7-2 lead.
Fayetteville's DJ Horton, who led all scorers in the contest with 19 points, hit a jumper before a Katey Harmon trey pushed the Forrest lead to 10-4.
The Lady Rockets went into a short lapse on offense, turning the ball over three times that led to six consecutive Fayetteville points at the end of the first quarter, resulting in a 10-10 tie.
Caitlyn Yost and Horton traded 3-pointers at the outset of the second quarter, tying the game at 13.
Fayetteville would not score again in the first half as the Forrest defense closed in on the Lady Tigers.
The first quarter ended with us giving the ball to them on three turnovers for six points," Jean said. "We made up for that with some really good defense in the second and third quarters."
Meanwhile, Yost stayed hot, scoring the next seven points in the game to stretch the Forrest lead to 20-13.
Sophomore Emma Stacey also heated up, nailing a 3-pointer with one minute remaining in the second quarter and with 16.6 seconds left, Harmon made two free throws to push the Forrest lead to 24-13 at the intermission.
The third quarter began with a Yost long ball, followed by four straight Collins points, including a steal and score to make it 30-13.
Forrest continued to stymy the Lady Tigers on offense, while scoring five more points and with 8.3 seconds remaining in the period, Stacey drilled a 3-pointer, extending the visitors lead to 25 points at 38-13.
"Emma's 3's were big and got us going on offense. One of our strengths this year has been our depth," Jean said. "On any given night, we can have three kids off the bench that make some big buckets for us. That is going to help us down the stretch in case we get a couple of kids in foul trouble or someone is just having an off night."
Stacey backed up the quarter-ending 3-pointer with another to begin the fourth quarter, essentially putting the Lady Tigers away.
To the bench
Jean went to the bench for the rest of the game and Fayetteville didn't as Horton poured in 12 points in the period.
"Moving forward we have to continue to win the battle on the boards and take care of the ball," Jean said. "If we can do those two things, we will have a chance to get some wins."
After a road trip to MTCS last night, Forrest (12-9, 3-4) finishes up the District 9-A slate with consecutive games versus Community, Eagleville, Huntland and Moore County with the only road game at Huntland.
Forrest 10 14 14 7-45
Fayetteville 10 3 0 14-27
Forrest-Caitlyn Yost 18, Emma Stacey 9, Hailey Collins 9, Sydney Hill 5, Katey Harmon 4, Kyleah Hengesbach 3.
Three-point goals-Stacey 3, Yost 2, Collins 2, Harmon.
Free throws-(9-14) Hengesbach 3-4, Yost 3-4, Collins 1-2, Harmon 1-2, Hill 1-2.
Fayetteville-DJ Horton 19, Trevah Thompson 6, McKenzie Mitchell 2.
Three point goals-Horton 2.
Free throws-Horton 5-8.
Halftime score-Forrest 24, Fayetteville 13.