Lady Rockets continue torrid sweep of district

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Madison Curtis had a huge game for the Lady Rockets, scoring 11 points, including a late fourth quarter 3-pointer that staved off an MTCS comeback attempt. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The red-hot Forrest Lady Rockets traveled to Murfreesboro Tuesday night to take on the MTCS Lady Cougars and the contest was an early season thriller with Chapel Hill coming away with a hard-earned 52-45 win.

The victory was the eighth win in a row for Forrest (8-1, 2-0) and it was especially sweet after having lost all three games to the Lady Cougars (2-4, 0-2) last season, including a loss in the District 9A semifinals.

"I thought at times in the game we had some mental lapses that were uncharacteristic of us so far, but we came back and found a way to make a play, especially late in the game," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "In the past it was tough for us to win here at times, so I'm really proud of how they played tonight and executed down the stretch."

The inspired Lady Rockets came out on fire versus MTCS, taking an early 7-0 lead as Caitlyn Yost banged home a 3-pointer to start contest, Madison Curtis pumped in a short jumper after a Lady Cougar missed shot and Yost followed with a steal and score.

MTCS came back with a 7-3 run to trail by three points at 10-7, but Forrest surged again on another Curtis basket followed by a fast break field goal by Jaide Langley off a pretty Yost pass.

One foul shot by Emma Self made it 14-8 before FHS eighth-grader Laura Mealer drilled a late 3-pointer, giving Forrest a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.

As expected, the Lady Cougars did not fold as they came all the way back, outscoring Forrest 18-8 in the second period to take a 26-25 lead at the half.

MTCS hit three 3-pointers in the second period, including a pair by Abby Buckner.

Forrest recharged its engines at the halftime break, coming back with the same intensity as in period number one.

Freshman Laura Mealer drains one of her two 3-pointers for Forrest, which beat MTCS 64-61 at Murfreesboro Tuesday night.

The two rivals battled the entire eight minutes with the lead changing hands three times before another Mealer 3-pointer midway through the quarter made it a four-point game at 36-32 until a Self bucket in the low post cut the Forrest lead to two points, entering the fourth quarter.

MTCS tied the game on its first possession, but one free throw each by Kyleah Hengesbach and Grace Thrasher gave the lead back to Forrest.

Sydney Hill and Yost came up with a pair of big rebounds and put-backs for Forrest and moments later, Curtis drilled an ice-cold 3-pointer from the corner, igniting the Chapel Hill traveling crowd and giving the Lady Rockets a 45-36 lead.

MTCS never got closer than six points the rest of the contest as Forrest strategically finished the game to claim the big District 9A road win.

Yost, along with Curtis led the Lady Rockets in the scoring column with 11 points, while Buckner and Self lead all scorers with 14 points apiece and Keyla Taylor was also in double figures for the Lady Cougars with 10 points.

"It was an intense ballgame, it was fun to watch, maybe not for the coach," Jean said. "The way Yost and Buckner played with their intensity, battling back and forth rubbed off on everybody and it was good to see other players step up and score in tough situations."

The Lady Rockets host Community (6-3, 0-1) tonight as Forrest's all-time leading scorer Yost will be honored for scoring her 2,000 career point earlier in the season.

"Every night we need to be 1-0, tonight's games over and we move on to Friday night's game where we have to be 1-0," Jean said. "Eight in a row doesn't really matter if we lose on Friday night, so we have to keep preaching to them in practice to get better at something every day and there are a lot of things we can get better until the end of the season."

Forrest 17 8 11 16-52

MTCS 8 18 8 11-45

Forrest (52): Caitlyn Yost 11, Madison Curtis 11, Kyleah Hengesbach 8, Laura Mealer 7, Jaide Langley 6, Grace Thrasher 5, Sydney Hill 4.

Free throws (7-for-15): Yost 2-for-2, Langley 2-for-4, Hengesbach 1-for-3, Mealer 1-for-2, Thrasher 1-for-4.

MTCS (45): Abby Buckner 14, Emma Self 14, Keyla Taylor 10, Josie Spivey 3, Taylor Hodges 2, Camden Adams 2.

Halftime: MTCS 26, Forrest 25.

3-point goals: Forrest (5): Mealer 2, Hengesbach, Yost, Curtis; MTCS (3): Buckner 2, Spivey.