Yost carries Forrest past Huntland
After a District 9A Tournament play-in game win over Fayetteville on Saturday, Forrest took on Huntland Monday night at Chapel Hill and the Lady Rockets received a huge boost from standout junior Caitlyn Yost, who poured in 40 points to secure a 65-57 victory over the Lady Hornets.
"I don't think I have ever been this tired after a game in a while," Yost said. "We wanted to win, last year we got knocked out in the first round and it stung."
The Lady Rockets also clinched a spot in the Region 5A Tournament next week, but the Chapel Hill girls have pressing business to take care of first as Forrest (17-13), the No. five seed will take on No. two seed and ninth-ranked Middle Tennessee Christian School (18-6) on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
"In this district nothing is ever going to be easy," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "We had to play well tonight to win, no matter how it ended up it's a win."
Forrest, who had split two games with Huntland in the regular season, came out strong versus the Lady Hornets, jumping out to a 21-7 first quarter lead behind a dozen Yost points in the period.
3's stop run
Huntland, who made a series of runs at Forrest during the game came back in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run to begin the period to slice the deficit to six points at 21-15.
Yost and Katey Harmon responded with back-to-back 3-pointers as Forrest cruised to a 35-17 lead at the intermission.
The third quarter was much of the same as Forrest held firm, getting a balanced scoring attack with Yost scoring six, Madison Curtis had four, Tamia Northcutt came up with a big three-point play the old-fashioned way and Kyleah Hengesbach scored her lone field goal of the game.
Yost would hit both ends of a one-and-one from the free throw line early in the fourth quarter, giving Forrest a 20-point lead at 57-37 before the Lady Hornets made a final run to stay in the game.
Becca Lewter, who scored a team-high 20 points for Huntland caught fire, leading the Huntland comeback with eight points in the period, including three 3-pointers as the Lady Hornets closed the gap to 62-55 with two minutes remaining in the contest.
"It got a little sketchy when they caught up, we got a little out of whack, but we pulled it together and got the win," Yost said.
The Lady Rockets, who went 22-for-37 from the free throw line in the contest, made just enough free tosses down the stretch to close out the game and end Huntland's season.
"At the end, I just wanted to get the ball, so they would foul me and I knew I would make the foul shots," Yost said. "I just wanted to come out here and win and I was going to do whatever it took and that's where the 40 points came from."
Yost, who is now just 80 points away from 2,000 for her career, had 14 points in the pivotal fourth quarter with two field goals and a stellar 10-for-11 performance from the free throw line.
"Yost had people hanging all over her and still didn't get enough free throws," Jean said. "We expect to be in the region every year, we had one year off there, but tonight we played like we expected to be there."
Huntland 7 10 16 24-57
Forrest 21 14 15 15-65
Huntland-Becca Lewter 20, Caylee McLennan 14, Ali Golden 13, Tars Cates 4, Kara Smith 3, Alyssa Owens 2, Savannah Foster 1.
3-point goals-Lewter 3, Cates 1.
Free throws-Golden 3-4, Lewter 5-6, Cates 1-2, Smith 1-4, Owens 2-2, McLennan 2-3, Foster 1-2.
Forrest-Caitlyn Yost 40, Katey Harmon 9, Kyleah Hengesbach 4, Tamia Northcutt 4, Madison Curtis 4, Krista Chapman 4.
3-point goals-Yost 2, Harmon 1.
Free throws-Yost 14-16, Hengesbach 2-2, Hailey Collins 0-2, Northcutt 2-3, Harmon 2-6, Chapman 2-8.
Halftime score-Forrest 35, Huntland 17.