Lady Rockets celebrate in rout

Friday, January 20, 2017
Former and present Forrest Lady Rocket players, coaches, managers and cheerleaders pose for a photo in celebration of 100 years of Forrest girls basketball at Chapel Hill Friday night. Tribune Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets celebrated 100 years of girls basketball at Chapel Hill in a big way Friday night versus Fayetteville, routing the Lady Tigers 74-38.

"It was a great atmosphere Friday night and it meant a lot to us that there were so many former players here to watch the game," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "I think it gave the team a little extra boost, wanting to play well in front of all those players."

Forrest's Madison Curtis and Fayetteville's DJ Horton traded baskets to start the game before the Lady Rockets blasted into another galaxy, scoring 27 straight points for the early knockout punch.

The Lady Rockets' all-time leading scorer Caitlyn Yost led the barrage, tallying all 13 of her points in the game in the opening stanza, including three 3-pointers.

"The girls came out still upset about how we played at Huntland and wanted to take out their frustration on the next team," Jean said. "They were extremely focused and ready to play. Everyone that got in, which was everyone, played well in some aspect of the game."

Eighth-grader Laura Mealer scored six points in the period and led the Lady Rockets in the scoring column on the night with 14 points.

Emma Stacey comes up with a steal and score for two of her five points versus Fayetteville.

Forrest took a 32-7 lead into the second quarter and an Emma Stacey steal and score made it a 27-point lead before Carrie Staples knocked down a 3-pointer for the Lady Tigers, only to see three bomb matched by Chapel Hill freshman Anna Blanton.

An 11-5 run by Forrest was highlighted by a Tamia Northcutt 3-pointer and Northcutt tallied the final three points of the first half on a three-point play the old-fashioned way as the Lady Rockets led big, 52-19.

Forrest won the third period 13-12 as Stacey drilled a trey, along with some solid play by Katey Harmon, Northcutt, Curtis, Mealer and Grace Thrasher in the low post.

An Ally Blanton 3-pointer in the fourth quarter capped an eight trey night for the Lady Rockets, who cruised to the 36-point win.

"We came out early and set the tone for the game," Jean stated. "It is something that we want to do every night, it just went really good for us."

The Lady Rockets (15-5, 6-1) hosted MTCS on Tuesday and travel to Community on Friday night for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

"The next couple weeks are big for a couple reasons----We have five district games left and we hold our destiny in our own hands of where we finish, so if we take care of business, we can win the regular season," Jean said. "Two is---we want to start putting together complete games, come out strong, finish the game strong and we want to start peaking."

"I think that we are nowhere close to playing our best ball, and that is scary thing because we are playing well for most of every game and if we start putting them together, we could be dangerous."

Fayetteville 7 12 12 7-38

Forrest 34 18 14 8-74

Fayetteville (38): DJ Horton 22, Carrie Staples 10, Addi Meeks 3, Kevondria Carr 3

3-point goals (3): Staples 2, Horton

Free throws (5-for-11): Carr 3-for-6, Meeks 1-for-2, Horton 1-for-3

Forrest (74): Laura Mealer 14, Caitlyn Yost 13, Katey Harmon 9, Grace Thrasher 8, Tamia Northcutt 6, Madison Curtis 6, Emma Stacey 5, Anna Blanton 5, Alli Blanton 3, Jaide Langley 4, Shea Lewis 1

3-point goals (8): Yost 3, Stacey, Harmon, Northcutt, Alli Blanton, Anna Blanton

Free throws (8-for-20): Harmon 2-for-3, Thrasher 2-for-6, Blanton 2-for-7, Northcutt 1-for-2, Lewis 1-for-2

Halftime score: Forrest 52, Fayetteville 19

Lady Rocket 100 year tidbits

Nicknames: Wizards, Bulldogs, Rebels, Rockettes and Lady Rockets.

1916-1949: Miss Bessie May Jones was the first coach at Forrest in 1916. In the 1920's, the team was coached by Thomas Wade, Herman Osteen and E.G, Rogers. Coaches in the 40's included coach Brown, Urban Elmore, Rollie Holden, Charlie Kerr and A.D. Starnes.

1950-1959: Coach Charlie Neighbors went to Cornersville, making way for Tom Sparkman, who taught the girls new footwork and new plays. Forrest won District 23 by beating Marshall County, but lost to Loretto in the region tournament at Lawrenceburg.

1960-1969: Forrest legend Norman Henson coach the squad for five years before coach Tom Wigginton took over and coached the Lady Rockets in District 23 that included Shelbyville, Lincoln County and Marshall County.

1970-1979: Named changed from Rockettes to Lady Rockets. Schools split into two divisions by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and the Lady Rockets played in small school classification. Katie Harris set the all-time school scoring record, completing her career with 1,751 points, a record that stood until this season when Caitlyn Yost broke it.

1980-1989: Wigginton retired in 1988 and Johnny Hill took over.

1990-1999: Larry Helton coaches Forrest until Robby Reasonover takes over 1998. Highlights of the period include the program's first state tournament appearance since the 70's.

2000-current: Reasonover leads the Lady Rockets to the program's first ever state championship in 2006 as current athletic trainer Gaby Bussell being named the tournament MVP. One year later, Beth Hawn is named Class A Miss Basketball.