Lady Rockets rout BGA in district tune-up

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Anna Blanton (4), who led the Lady Rockets in scoring with 12 points, nails a 3-pointer in the big third quarter for Forrest.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets finished their pre-district schedule with a solid 11-5 record, including a hard fought 43-27 win over Battle Ground Academy (BGA) Friday night at Chapel Hill.

“The girls came out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to play the game and that’s what we have to do to win,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “If we have that type of energy and unselfishness and looking for the next person to make the shot, than we can be pretty good.”

Anna Blanton scored a team-high 12 points for Forrest and Carissa Curtis was also in double figures with all 10 of her points coming in the first quarter.

Carissa Curtis (11) drills one of her two 3-pointers in the Lady Rockets’ 43-27 win over BGA.

“That’s how we have won some games, because everyone can score,” Jean said. “In years past, they would key on one person and we would be in trouble. This year if someone is off, everybody can pick up two or three points here and there and we can make up for that other person being off.”

“It’s fun to watch because we have a least five people who can score.”

Clemson softball signee Kyah Keller led all scorers in the game with 13 points for BGA, including the first four points of the game and 10 out of the 12 points the Lady Wildcats scored in the first half.

With the scored tied at 6-6, Curtis went downtown on back-to-back trips down the floor and added a rebound and put-back to give Forrest a 14-6 lead.

Keller scored to break the Forrest mini-run before one free throw by Laura Mealer was followed by Ally Blanton tossing in a bucket at the end of the first quarter to make it a 17-8 contest.

Shea Lewis (35) grabs a pass and turns to make a move for a low post bucket.

The two squads traded baskets to begin the second period before a Shea Lewis bucket in the low post sparked an 11-0 Lady Rockets’ surge that included four points by Ally Blanton, an over the top fast-break bucket by Mealer, and a 3-point bomb by Langley.

“Shea played really well and I’m proud, because she is going to have to play,” Jean said. “We don’t know how long Sydney (Hill-sprained ankle) is going to be out, so she is going to have to step up and she did a good job tonight.”

“We had to do some things differently on defense, but these kids can adjust to anything and that’s a good thing also.”

Keller scored the final basket of the first half as the Lady Wildcats trailed 30-12 at the intermission.

Keller notched her final field goal of the game to start the second half as BGA began to find the mark much better, but Forrest stayed in control to lead by as many as 24 points on a Mealer basket in the low post late in the third quarter.

The Lady Rockets took a 40-23 lead to the fourth quarter and Jean pulled most of the starting players midway through the period as they cruised to the 16-point triumph.

Forrest’s five losses have come versus teams with a combined 62-19 record, including three 3A schools, one DII team, and Class A longtime rival Cascade.

“I think we have had a pretty good first half of the year, we lost one game that we shouldn’t at Cascade where we didn’t shoot the ball well, but they made us shoot the ball bad, so they are a good team, but we should not have lost that game.” Jean said. “Our other losses, Rossview, Oakland, Beech…they are really good teams and we competed in all those games.”

“We had to go play those guys to find out what we needed to get better at and that’s why we went, our first half has been good so far, but we don’t want to look back, we want to look forward.”

The Lady Rockets opened up District 12-AA play last night at Giles County in the first of three consecutive league road games and six straight district contests.

BGA 8 4 11 4-27

Forrest 17 13 10 3-43

BGA (27): Kyah Keller 13, Ella Rose Gallimore 4, Beth Fleming 2, Reagan Desoto 2, Graci Sepmtiphelter 2, Kearstyn Seay 2, Scout Spear 2.

3-Point goals (0).

Free Throws (1-for-7): Keller 1-for-1, Fleming 0-for-2, Gallimore 0-for-2, Seay 0-for-2.

Forrest (43): Anna Blanton 12, Carissa Curtis 10, Laura Mealer 8, Ally Blanton 6, Jaide Langley 5, Shea Lewis 2.

3-Point goals (4): Curtis 2, Anna Blanton 1, Langley 1.

Free Throws (7-for-14): Anna Blanton 3-for-6, Mealer 2-for-4, Langley 2-for-2, Ally Blanton 0-for-2.

Halftime Score: Forrest 30, BGA 12.