Forrest pulls away from Lady Panthers
After starting the season off 2-2, the Forrest Lady Rockets have been on a roll, winning five of six games heading into the matchup of the season with Lewis County (5-5).
If the first matchup (57-54 Forrest) was any indication of how the second game would play out, Forrest fans should have been in from a start to finish throw down in Chapel Hill.
But with the young players starting to gel together, the Lady Rockets (8-3) blew the Panthers out 56-37 in a game that was not as close as the score indicates.
"I think we're in a good place," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean stated. "Our injuries are bad, but they also make the other players step up and have to do things that they're not used to doing."
"So with all the injuries we've had, we've had kids stepping up and playing more minutes," Jean continued. "So when everyone does get healthy our depth will be back where it needs to be.”
“I thought Shea Lewis played a good game again tonight. She came out on the defensive end and guarded their post player really, really well. So I was proud of her tonight."
With the move to 2A from 1A, the Lady Rockets have played six games against teams on at least the 2A level heading into the Christmas Break, which is part of Jean's strategy to ease the upward move.
"Yeah we did (schedule Lewis County to get ready more the move up)," Jean said. "They're traditionally good and they're good this year. They've got some good pieces. They play hard, so this will get us ready for the district schedule after the Christmas break."
The Lady Rockets got another amazing game from freshman guard Carissa Curtis with 19 points, sophomore guard Jaide Langley with 15 points, and senior post Grace Thrasher with 10 points.
The Panthers were led by Kendall Tharp with 14 points and Breanna Bratcher with 10 points.
Forrest outscored Lewis County in every quarter except the third, which the Panthers won by just one-point, 11-10.
The Lady Rockets set the tone for the game from the outset as five different players scored, led by Thrasher with six points and Langley with four points, and held the Panthers to a single Hailey Bower point to end the period with a 16-1 advantage.
The second quarter offered a closer match as Curtis scored three points, while Anna and Ally Blanton and Langley all scored a bucket to head into the half with a 25-7 lead.
"I told them (at halftime) to win the first four minutes of the third quarter," Jean said. "That's our goal every time, but we didn't tonight. We came out a little lackadaisical at times, started the second half with three turnovers in a row and gave them seven shots in two possessions, so I didn't say the right thing at halftime tonight."
"But we found a way to gather ourselves at the end of the third quarter and at the beginning of the fourth to get a 20-point lead again and pulled out the win," Jean added.
The Lady Rockets outscored the Panthers by just one-point, 31-30, in the second half as Bratcher and Tharp found their strokes, but 14 second half points by Curtis and nine from Langley kept Lewis County at arm’s length and never threatened the first-half lead.
Forrest 16 9 10 21 56
Lewis Co. 1 6 11 19 37
Forrest (56): Carissa Curtis 19, Jaide Langley 15, Grace Thrasher 10, Anna Blanton 4, Emma Stacey 3, Katey Harmon 3, Ally Blanton 2.
Three pointers: none.
Lewis County (37): Kendall Tharp 14, Breanna Bratcher 10, Kaylie Webb 6, Hailey Bower 4, Jayden Hinson 3.
Three pointers (2): Webb, Bratcher.