Lady Rockets beat Viqueens by a dozen

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Forrest freshman Carissa Curtis scored a game-high 27 points in the Lady Rockets’ 66-54 win at Unionville Friday night.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After an eight-day hiatus due to school closure because of the ice and snow last week, the Forrest Lady Rockets finally got a chance to take the floor and wash away the bad taste in their mouth from a sloppy defeat versus Nolensville on January 11.

Forrest’s opponent was a familiar one at Unionville, where the Lady Rockets came up with a 66-54 coast-to-coast win over the Viqueens.

“The snow made us move some games and not be able to get in the gym,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “The girls were just ready to play again. They were all focused on their jobs and executed really well.”

“We did the three E’s,” Jean added. “Errors, execution, and energy. If we can do those every night we will give ourselves a chance.”

Forrest led by eight points at the end of one period and increased it to double digits by halftime.

Community did not make a field goal the entire first quarter as the Lady Rockets converted four, including two from senior center Grace Thrasher, who scored seven out of her 12 points in the game during the opening stanza.

“We were very patient and made them work and move on defense, which gave us open shots and looks inside,” Jean stated.

Forrest freshman Carissa Curtis went to work in the second quarter, netting 11 out of her game-high 27 points in the stanza.

“She (Curtis) is having a good year and she has been a steady scorer for us, but what I told her I was the most proud of was she played well defensively and rebounded the ball well,” Jean said. “Having the kids that we do that can score makes it a difficult match-up for some teams. Because, if you put your best defender on Carissa, then that leaves the other guards with some open shots that we can knock down.”

They maintained the 10-point lead for most of the third quarter before the Viqueens managed to claw their way back in to make it a five-point game on a Logan Brothers 3-pointer.

Forrest alum Corey Bishop is in his first year coaching the Viqueens and is doing a nice job following former Community coach Allison Martin, who mentored the squad to three consecutive deep postseason runs and two state tournament berths.

“I think he (Bishop) is doing a really good job,” Jean said. “It is hard to follow up a coach that was as successful as Allison was.”

“I know that from experience here getting to follow coach (Robby) Reasonover, but Bishop has his team well-prepared and playing hard every game that I've seen them play. He will be successful there.”

Ex-Viqueen Jaide Langley, who scored 18 points, pulls up for a jumper in the second quarter.

Former Viqueen Jaide Langley put a stop to the Community run with back-to-back baskets to end the period with Forrest leading 44-35.

Langley ended up with 18 points in the contest, including a perfect 6-for-6 effort from the free throw line.

Early in the fourth quarter, a rare Thrasher 3-pointer gave Forrest their biggest lead of the game before Community managed to cut the margin back to eight points on a Kailyn Farrell basket.

Shea Lewis came up with a bucket in the paint in relief of Thrasher, Curtis followed with a one-and-one conversion from the free throw line, and Langley scored to make it 57-43.

Katey Harmon (14) takes the ball to the hoop in the big win at Community.

From there, Forrest put the Viqueens away with a 6-for-7 effort from the free throw line down the stretch to improve to 11-6 and 2-1 in District 12-AA play.

“Playing on the road is always difficult, but it is especially difficult playing district games on the road,” Jean said. “And playing at Community is hard. They always have a big loud crowd, but Friday we had just as many if not more than they did.”

“That helped the girls a lot. They could feel the support coming from behind them.”

The Lady Rockets hosted MCHS in a make-up game Monday and they play four league games in a row after that.

The girls are ready for the home stretch and the schedule that we have played has prepared us for this time,” Jean said. “Remember we started the season out losing our top two to graduation, and two other returning starters out with injuries. One for the season, and one was out till Thanksgiving. We had two others have surgery in the preseason, and lost a starter for three weeks at the end of November.”

“All of that has made this team come together and raise their level of play, which is helping us now and will continue to help down the road.”

Forrest 12 15 17 22 - 66

Community 4 13 18 19 - 54

Forrest (66): Carissa Curtis 27, Jaide Langley 18, Grace Thrasher 12, Alley Blanton 2, Madison Curtis, Katey Harmon 5, Shea Lewis 2, Anna Blanton, Emma Stacey.

Free Throws (21-for-23): Curtis 9-for-10, Langley 6-for-6, Harmon 3-for-4, Thrasher 3-for-3.

3-Point goals (3): Curtis 2, Thrasher

Community (54): Kizzey Lane 15, A. K. Lemmons 10, Lexie Cagle 9, Gracie Simmons 7, Haley Reed, Kailyn Farrell 8, Logan Brothers 5, Jaley Vincent.

Free Throws (13-29): Simmons 3-for-8, Cagle 3-for-7, Farrell 4-for-6, Layne 2-for-6, Brothers 1-for-2,

3-Point goals: (5): Lemmons 2, Lane, Cagle, Brothers.

Halftime score: Forrest 27, Community 17.