Forrest bounces back at home
The Forrest Lady Rockets, still searching for a hot streak, may have found it Tuesday night at Chapel Hill in a big 59-54 win over District 9A rival Eagleville.
"That was a big win, any time you can get a win in this district, it is a good win," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "The way that we won the game I think is going to be a confidence booster for us."
It was a nip and tuck contest the entire night as the Lady Rockets fought off every Eagleville comeback attempt.
"We would get a double digit-lead and Eagleville would go on a run and pull it to four or five and we would get a couple stops on defense and get some good looks and knock them down to pull it back to nine or 10," Jean stated. "Eagleville is a very good team and that is why they would make runs on us."
Eagleville was on the offensive early as Kristin Barnes banged down a 3-pointer and after a non-scoring possession by Forrest, Chelsea Scott scored for the visitors, making it 5-0.
Katey Harmon made two free throws to get Forrest on the scoreboard at the 6:15 mark of the first quarter, beginning a 13-0 run for the Lady Rockets that Harmon capped off with a steal and dish to Caitlyn Yost, who converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way.
Yost's shots fall
Forrest led 17-8 after the first quarter as Yost poured in 11 points in the period.
"Yost had another good night shooting the ball," Jean said. "Katey played well---she was in attack mode offensively and made some tough layups."
A Tamia Northcutt rebound and put-back of her own shot early in the second quarter gave Forrest its biggest lead of the game at 22-9, but once again Eagleville fought back, cutting the deficit to three points after a 10-0 run.
Eventually, the Lady Eagles would slice it to one point at 24-23 on a pair of Karah Snell free throws at the end of the first half.
Ahead to stay
The lead disappeared at the outset of the second half on a Barnes basket and it would seesaw back and forth a couple of times before Hailey Collins nailed two free throws, giving Forrest the lead for good at 30-29.
The Lady Rockets would score 10 more straight points after the Collins free throws, capped off by a Yost basket to make it 40-29.
"I am proud of the girls for staying calm when they made those runs," said Jean. "We played good 'D' on them, they just knocked down some big shots when they needed them."
Things got a little testy from that point as both teams were whistled for technical fouls.
Forrest got its 'T' first and after Scott made both of the charity shots, the Lady Eagles got the ball and Barnes nailed a 3-pointer, making it a 40-34 with two minutes remaining in the period.
Remarkably, Eagleville was called for a technical foul to negate the comeback as Forrest ended the third quarter with a 5-1 mini-run to take a 45-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
Eagleville would not go away, making it a five-point contest with four minutes left in the game and they would scratch and claw the rest of the way, but Forrest hung tough to take the win thanks to a stellar 7-for-8 performance from the free throw line in the final two minutes.
"That is the best we have shot free throws all year and we needed them," Jean said.
No Forrest 3s
Forrest did not make a 3-pointer in the contest, while Eagleville made four treys.
"We didn't shot the ball well from the 3-point line at all, but I think we showed some maturity," Jean said. "We were 0-for-7 and a couple weeks ago we would've been 0-for-16 because we would have settled for the 3's, hoping we would make them. Tonight, we realized we were off and attacked the rim instead of still shooting them."
Yost led all scorers with 28 points, while Harmon chipped in 16 points for the Lady Rockets, who have two huge District 9-A games remaining.
"Of course, we want to win all the games left, but we need to focus more on putting together complete games, playing solid on both ends of the floor and finishing games," Jean added. "That will put us in the best position for the tournament. The past two years we peaked around Christmas and struggled down the stretch. We want to start peaking now and I believe that we are."
Eagleville 8 13 12 21-54
Forrest 17 7 21 14-59
Eagleville-Kristin Barnes 19, Chelsea Scott 8, Allison Lynch 7, Alli Burns 7, Taylor Turnage 7, Karah Snell 6.
Three-point goals- Barnes, Snell, Burns, Turnage.
Free throws-Barnes 5-6, Lynch 5-8, Snell 3-6, Scott 4-6, Turnage 2-2.
Forrest-Caitlyn Yost 28, Katey Harmon 16, Kyleah Hengesbach 6, Hailey Collins 4, Krista Chapman 2, Tamia Northcutt 2, Sydney Hill 1.
Free throws-Collins 2-2, Hengesbach 4-6, Yost 10-12, Harmon 6-10, Hill 1-2.
Halftime score-Forrest 24, Eagleville 21.