FMS Lady Rockets capture DRVC win

Friday, December 16, 2016
Carissa Curtis, who led all scorers in the game with 24 points, bangs down one of her two 3-pointers on the night. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After completing an undefeated regular season on Thursday, the FMS Lady Rockets made it 19 wins in a row via a 37-24 triumph over Liberty in the second round of the Duck River Valley Conference Tournament at Chapel Hill Monday night.

The defending DRVC Tournament champions Lady Rockets (19-0) take on Community (11-8) in the semifinals at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Cascade.

"We talked several times about the bullseye on our backs this year and a couple of girls got it confused and thought somebody was really after us, but we got that straightened out," a smiling Forrest coach David Junkins said. "But yes I'm sure, everybody wants to come gunning for us, but we can only control what we can control and hopefully we will take care of business Thursday night."

FMS beat the Viqueens twice in the regular season as they travelled to Unionville on November 1, winning 45-12 before collecting a closer 40-28 victory at Chapel Hill on December 5.

Monday's opening round DRVC Tournament win was not pretty, but very effective as the FMS defense stymied the Lady Patriots for three quarters, allowing just eight points through the three stanzas.

"We kind of refocused on our defense the last few ballgames because I think it was getting away from us," said. "In practice we have been spending more time on defense and I think that has helped on several occasions and tonight definitely was the case."

"We played really good defense and did not allow them good shots and that helped a lot."

Carissa Curtis continued her sensational welcome home tour at FMS, tying the entire Viqueens scoring effort with 24 points, including two 3-pointers and a perfect 2-for-2 effort from the free throw line.

Forrest's Alex Davenport (40) knocks down a jumper in the lane for two of her four points in the Lady Rockets' 37-24 first round DRVC Tournament victory Monday night at Chapel Hill.

Jenna Blanton pitched in with five points and Alex Davenport came off the bench and chipped in four points in the low post.

Amanda Jett, who got into some early foul trouble with her aggressive style finished with 3 points and FMS defensive specialist Karley Daughrity had one point.

A Curtis jumper opened the scoring in the game and moments later, Curtis stole the ball from the Viqueens and scored, making it 4-0.

Neither team tallied any more points until Mary Alice Shavers knocked down two free throws with 2:39 remaining in the first quarter.

One Blanton free throw made it 5-2 and with just seconds remaining in the opening stanza, Blanton went coast-to-coast for a score after grabbing a rebound, giving FMS a 7-2 lead.

Liberty came back to trail by 9-6 early in the second quarter before Forrest began to pull away on some transition baskets as Davenport scored her second bucket of the period after a Curtis field goal and Blanton added two free throws off a fast break at the end of the first half, making it a 15-6 ballgame.

"That gave us a little cushion going up by nine at halftime," Junkins said. "I would always like to be up a little bit more, but that was comfortable enough."

The Lady Rockets put away the Viqueens in the third quarter, outscoring the Unionville squad 9-2 as Jett returned from foul trouble to score three points, Curtis had five including a trey and Blanton added one free throw after stealing the rock on the final play of the stanza.

"We made some adjustments at halftime and came back out and went to a little different press that paid off for us, especially at the beginning of the third period when we went on a mini-run there and extended the lead," Junkins said.

Junkins went to the bench in the fourth quarter and the Viqueens outscored the FMS subs 16-13.

Shavers had 12 points to lead the Lady Pats in the scoring column.

Liberty 2 4 1 16-24

Forrest 7 8 9 13-37

Liberty (24): Mary Alice Shavers 12, Kelsey Harden 6, Mezzie Dunn 6

Free throws (4-for-10): Shavers 2-for-4, Harden 2-for-2, Sarah Margaret Housch 0-for-2, Shelby Moore 0-for-2

Forrest (37): Carissa Curtis 24, Jenna Blanton 5, Alex Davenport 4, Amanda Jett 3, Karley Daughrity 1

3-point goals (2): Curtis 2

Free throws (7-for-15): Blanton 3-for-6, Curtis 2-for-2, Daughrity 1-for-2, Jett 1-for-2, Cassidy Stewart 0-for-1, Hannah Villazon 0-for-1, Davenport 0-for-1

Halftime score: Forrest 15, Liberty 6