Viqueens shock FMS Lady Rockets
The top-seeded FMS Lady Rockets came into Thursday's Duck River Valley Conference Tournament semifinal at Cascade undefeated at 17-0 and were the reigning DRVC champs until the Community Viqueens pulled off a shocking 31-28 upset victory.
"They were understandably upset," FMS coach David Junkins said. "I think that what it all boils down to is we overlooked Community and they had a great game plan, coupled with they were ready to play."
The Lady Rockets did not even remotely look like the team that dominated regular season play, most notably on the press where they usually fired up their engine with transition baskets, many of which came far and few between on Thursday.
"I found out after the game that we did have a player sick, but she did not want to tell me because she wanted to play," Junkins said.
FMS held a 7-2 lead after the first quarter, but Community went on a 9-4 run, sparked by Jesa Moore, who nailed the first of her three 3-pointers in the game and then came up with the game tying basket with 1:26 remaining in the first half.
Jenna Blanton came up with a steal, score and free throw conversion to make it 14-11 and the half ended on a Hali Smith bucket for Community, followed by one Blanton free throw, making it 15-13 Forrest at the break.
With 4:11 remaining in the third quarter, the Viqueens finally broke through, taking a 19-17 lead on two Moore free throws and after a Forrest missed shot, Titianna Eady hit one of two from the free throw line, making it 20-17 in favor of Unionville.
The Lady Rockets fought back, going on a 7-0 run to the end the third quarter as Carissa Curtis scored, Amanda Jett banged home a bucket in the low post and Kirsten Blalock drilled a 3-pointer with a few seconds left on the clock, giving FMS a 24-20 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Curtis banged home a trey to start the fourth period, giving Forrest their biggest lead of the game at 27-20.
Moore followed with a basket and Jett hit one free throw, which incredibly would be the last point scored by Forrest in the contest.
Moore followed with 3-pointers on back-to-back Community possessions and the Lady Rockets gave up the ball again before Eady put the Viqueens in front for good with a bucket in the low post with 1:30 remaining in the game.
Junkins called two timeouts late in the game to calm the Lady Rockets and try to find a little of the magic that the team had displayed all year, but it was not to be as Community advanced and FMS was eliminated.
"I called a couple of timeouts to let the girls know we were in control and ahead because we were taking shots we should not have as if we were behind," Junkins said. "We got tight and then could not score."
Moore had 16 points to lead all scorers in the game and Curtis was the only Forrest player in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
"Even though this was not our goal for the season (to be playing for third), they are on a special team and will need to refocus on what we do," Junkins said. "We still have the World Tournament in January and still can be one of the best middle school teams to wear a Forrest uniform."
Cascade won the Duck River Valley Conference Tournament with a victory over Community on Saturday, while the Lady Rockets (18-1) pounded Moore County 52-34 in the consolation game.
Community 2 11 7 11-31
Forrest 7 8 9 4-28
Community (31): Jesa Moore 16, Tatiana Eady 9, Hali Smith 4, MJ Simmons 2
3-point goals (3): Moore 3
Free throws (4-for-7): Moore 3-for-4, Eady 1-for-2, Smith 0-for-1
Forrest (28): Carissa Curtis 11, Jenna Blanton 9, Amanda Jett 5, Kirsten Blalock 3
3-point goals (2): Curtis, Blalock
Free throws (6-for-11): Blanton 3-for-5, Curtis 2-for-2, Jett 1-for-4
Halftime score: Forrest 15, Community 13
Moore County 5 12 9 8-34
Forrest 14 11 14 13-52
Moore County (34): Olivia Richards 10, Madison Floyd 6, Kendall Davenport 4, Macy Fletcher 4, Kerrigan Fanning 3, Charlotte Ray 2, Jordan Lund 2
3-point goals (2): Fanning, Clifton
Free throws (6-for-14): Floyd 4-for-6, Richards 2-for-6, Fanning 0-for-2
Forrest (52): Carissa Curtis 18, Jenna Blanton 15, Amanda Jett 10, Karley Daughrity 5, Cassidy Stewart 2, Kirsten Blalock 2
3-poipint goals (2): Blanton, Daughrity
Free throws (6-for-12): Curtis 2-for-2, Blanton 2-for-4, Jett 2-for-5, Hannah Villazon 0-for-1
Halftime score: Forrest 25, Moore County 17