Lady Rockets win big on Senior Night

Friday, February 10, 2017
Forrest senior Tamia Northcutt (15) steals the ball and heads up court for the Lady Rockets.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

It was Senior Night at Chapel Hill Thursday as the Forrest Lady Rockets finished up the regular season with a resounding 66-45 win over visiting Perry County.

“I thought that we played as well as we have in a while on both ends of the floor,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “Our focus was where it has to be for the remainder of the tournaments.”

Forrest took care of business early, jumping out a big lead and never looking back with senior all-time leading scorer Caitlyn Yost leading the way with 21 points and a 7-for-8 performance from the free throw line.

Senior Kyleah Hengesbach and freshman Jaide Langley were both in the double figures in the scoring with 10 points apiece.

“These seniors have done a tremendous job for this program, so far,” Jean said. “They have helped instill work ethic and team-first mindset in the younger kids and I will always be thankful for that.”

Madison Curtis had nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, Laura Mealer scored six, Grace Thrasher netted four points and Emma Stacey and Ally Blanton had one 3-point bucket apiece.

Chyna Brooks, who matched Yost’s game-high total of 21 points scored to start the game before Hengesbach scored five straight points.

A missed Perry County shot led to a Langley basket and by the time Yost scored her second basket in the period, Forrest was way out in front 15-2.

Joyce Roberts hit one of her two 3-pointers in the game at the first quarter buzzer for the Lady Vikings, who could not withstand the Forrest offensive barrage that carried over to the second quarter.

“We shot the ball really well from three-point range, which was because of ball movement,” Jean said. “We passed up the good shot for the great shot and that has to be the mentality from here on out.”

Forrest’s Madison Curtis (22) buries one of two 3-pointers she made in the Lady Rockets’ 66-45 Senior Night win over Perry County Thursday night at Chapel Hill.

When Curtis drilled her second trey of the game, Forrest led 35-12 with two minutes to play in the first half and a Mealer 3-pointer made it a 32-point ballgame at 38-16 before Brooks scored to end the first half.

Yost and Hengesbach nailed back-to-back field goals to start the third period as Forrest sailed along, leading 52-28 at the end of the stanza.

Stacey and Blanton came up with 3-pointers in the fourth period for the Lady Rockets, who cruised to their 22nd win of the season.

“I hate to talk about them (seniors) like they are gone because this team has a chance to make a run and be playing for another month,” Jean said. “A 22-6 record with the schedule that we have played is a really good regular season record.”

“They have a lot to be proud of up to this point, but our work is just getting started. Everyone is 0-0 now. What we have done in the past is just that, in the past. We have to fine tune some things in practice and get better every day.”

Forrest (22-6, 10-2) has a week off before they play in the District 9A Tournament semifinals at Huntland on Thursday, February 16 with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“We are going to get after it in practice,” Jean said. “We have had a couple of long breaks throughout the season and they have done a good job of staying focused on the task at hand.”

Jean added, “Not knowing who we will play until Monday night gives us a couple of practices to focus strictly on us. Come Tuesday, we start working on the next game and either way, it will be someone that we know very well.”

Senior Dani Hoeft (3) runs out for the start before the Lady Rockets beat Perry County 66-45

Perry County 5 13 10 17-45

Forrest 17 21 14 14-66

Perry County (45): Chyna Brooks 21, Joyce Roberts 7, Alle Hinson 7, Katelynn Capps 3, Olivia Feustel 2, Sydney Wilsdorf 2, Mikayla Thornton 2, Andrea Bradford 1

3-point goals (4): Roberts 2, Capps, Brooks

Free throws (9-for-16): Thornton 4-for-8, Feustel 2-for-2, Bradford 1-for-2, Hinson 1-for-2, Capps 1-for-2

Forrest (66): Caitlyn Yost 21, Kyleah Hengesbach 10, Jaide Langley 10, Madison Curtis 9, Laura Mealer 6, Grace Thrasher 4, Emma Stacey 3, Ally Blanton 3

3-point goals (5): Curtis 2, Blanton, Stacey, Hengesbach

Free throws (10-for-13): Yost 7-for-8, Hengesbach 1-for-2, Curtis 1-for-1, Mealer 1-for-2

Halftime score: Forrest 38, Perry County 18