Lady Rockets handle Giles County in 12-AA opener
The Forest Lady Rockets trekked down highway 31A to Pulaski for the first game of District 12-AA play. The Lady Rockets came in to the game with an 11-5 record, while the Giles County Lady Bobcats had a 4-4 mark.
With impressive wins over a Division II School, a 2A state champion, and a close loss to 3A powerhouse Oakland, the Lady Rockets went looking for a positive step in their quest for a district championship and they got off on the right footing with a 52-44 win.
The first quarter began with both teams trading baskets, then Giles took a short-lived lead until Jaide Langley hit a 3-pointer and followed on their next possession with a two pointer to give Forrest some breathing room. Ally Blanton sunk two treys and the lead widened. The first quarter ended with Carissa Curtis breaking away with a steal to send the Lady Rockets to a 18-13 lead.
The second quarter began with a three from Ally Blanton, then a steal and breakaway that left two Lady Bobcats sprawled on the court. Giles’ two/three zone defense then began to be turned due to the outside shooting from the Lady Rockets. Baskets by Blanton and Laura Mealer built the lead to 13 points and the Lady Rockets led 29-16. The lead could have been more had a last second shot not rolled off the rim. Defensively, the Lady Rockets stepped up and held Giles County to a single three-point basket the remainder of the quarter.
The third quarter brought a basket by Giles County and after several missed shots by Forrest, Curtis, with a swift move, scored to make it 31-18. From there a trey by Curtis and a basket by Langley stretched the lead to 14 with 2:26 left in the third period. Giles County began a comeback, but at the end of the third, it was still Forrest up 36-28.
The fourth quarter found Curtis hitting a three and with 6:00 left, the Lady Rockets were up by 10 points. They stretched the lead to 12 with 3:45 left, but Forrest committed their seventh team foul and Giles County was in the one-and-one situation from the free throw line. This aided the Lady Bobcats and they cut the lead to five with 1:26 left. Curtis made a basket and was fouled and even though the free throw rolled off the rim, another basket by Anna Blanton pushed the lead out where it would stay until the end of the game as Forrest took the 52-44 win.
Forrest coach Jeremy Jean when asked about the Lady Bobcats’ record said, “They lost four seniors and when you lose half your team it is a problem.”
When being told that it didn’t seem to bother him when he experienced graduation losses he replied “We’re fortunate that we have players who step up”
Step up indeed, coach Jean has built one of the most respected teams in the mid-south year after year. Serving as assistant coach is former Cornersville Lady Bulldog Mackenzie Hopkins. Winning people equal winning teams.
Forrest 18 11 7 16-52
Giles County 13 3 12 16-44