Forrest gives Lady Eagles Summertown blues
The red-hot Forrest Lady Rockets continued their winning ways on Friday night at Chapel Hill, posting a big 48-37 signature win over the 2016-2017 Class A state runner-up Summertown Lady Eagles.
Summertown (7-2) had won four consecutive games coming into the contest and three in a row over Forrest (7-1) in the annual non-conference matchup.
“They (Summertown) are a well-coached team and really good defensively and they made it tough on us by getting us out of our comfort zone in the first half,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “In the second half we made some big shots, that’s all it was.”
“We found a way to get our rhythm going and when that happened, we scored a bunch of points quick.”
The game started in weird fashion as Forrest was awarded two technical foul shots because of a scorebook violation before the game even started, but it didn’t come into play in the final outcome as the Lady Rockets missed both shots.
When the action actually got started on the court it was from downtown as Carissa Curtis nailed a 3-pointer for Forrest and Marshall County High School transfer Claire Woods matched it for Summertown.
Jaide Langley drilled a long bomb to make it 6-3 before Summertown scored six straight points to take their biggest lead of the game at 9-6.
Langley came up with a bucket to make it 9-8 and Sydney Hill boosted the Lady Rockets with back-to-back, post-up jumpers in the lane before Reese Wilson scored her lone basket of the night at the end of the quarter for the Lady Eagles.
The second period was closely played as the lead changed hands six times with the last time coming on a Mealer three-point play to give Forrest a 21-19 margin with less than minute to play in the first half before Summertown’s Kaitlin Campbell tallied her only field goal of the game and two squads went to the locker room deadlocked at 21.
Summertown’s Katie Burdette, who led all scorers in the contest with 15 points, scored in the low post to start the second half and moments later, Curtis drilled a 3-pointer and Langley followed with a field goal to give Forrest a 26-23 lead.
Rylee Long nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 26 and Summertown went on to lead 28-27.
The Lady Rockets came back again with a 7-2 run with Blanton starting the streak with a steal and score.
Langley made a 3-pointer after a Summertown turnover and a Long bucket was followed by a Mealer theft and score to end the third quarter with Forrest in front 29-26.
It looked like Summertown was going to take control of the game as they reeled off six straight points to start the fourth quarter, but Curtis answered the call with a long bomb to right the Lady Rockets’ ship.
Moments later the game was tied at 37 and that’s when the Lady Rockets seized the helm as Mealer and Blanton banged home back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a 40-37 contest with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.
Two missed foul shots by the Lady Eagles led to a Blanton dagger 3-pointer to make it 43-37 and to make matters worse, Summertown squandered a one-and-one opportunity at the free throw line.
Forrest didn’t as Mealer put the game away when she nailed both ends of a one-and-one and came back to the charity stripe to hit one-of-two moments later as the Lady Rockets took the 11-point win.
“I’m really proud of them defensively, we stopped them seven times in a row in the fourth quarter and that’s what won the ballgame,” Jean said. “This year we have been a little sketchy in the half court getting some stops, but tonight we got those big stops.”
Forrest had three players in double figures in the scoring column with Langley leading the way with 14 points, while Mealer had 13, and Curtis finished with 10.
“That’s what’s special about this team, when your leading scorer doesn’t score a lot and you can still win ballgames,” Jean said. “Everybody can score, so there is no pressure on Carissa this year to score 25 for us to win. She can have an off night and we can still be ok because we have other kids that can score the ball.”
“So hopefully that can relieve some pressure she puts on herself and she can just start playing basketball.”
Ally Blanton chipped in with seven points and Hill netted four for the Lady Rockets, who host Houston County Thursday night at Chapel Hill.
“I thought we executed well and they played hard, so I’m happy,” Jean said. “I told them, that’s a really good team there and Cascade was a good team, but we are a good team too.”
“I think they are starting to believe in themselves that hey, we can beat anybody if we play together, so if they keep that mindset and keep working hard in practice, they will be a scary team in a couple of months.”
Summertown 11 10 9 7-37
Forrest 12 9 13 14-48
Summertown (37): Katie Burdette 15, Hailey Jones 7, Claire Woods 6, Rylee Long 5, Reese Wilson 2, Kailey Campbell 2.
Three-point goals (3): Woods 2, Long.
Free Throws (2-for-9): Burdette 1-for-3, Jones 1-for-4, Campbell 0-for-2.
Forrest (48): Jaide Langley 14, Laura Mealer 13, Carissa Curtis 10, Ally Blanton 7, Sydney Hill 4.
Three-point goals (7): Curtis 3, Langley 2, Blanton, Mealer.
Free Throws (7-for-11): Mealer 4-for-7, Langley 2-for-2, Curtis 1-for-2.
Halftime Score: Forrest 21, Summertown 21.
Next Game: Thursday, December 13 vs. Houston County, 6 p.m.