Free throw woes sink Lady Rockets

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Carissa Curtis (11) led all scorers in the game with 17 points, including four 3-pointers in the Lady Rockets’ 46-43 loss to Nolensville at Chapel Hill Monday night.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest just cannot get over the hump when it comes to beating Nolensville as the first place Lady Knights came to Chapel Hill Monday night riding a three-game winning streak over the Lady Rockets.

Nolensville left as winners of four in row after the Lady Rockets squandered the lead and lost 46-43, mostly due to a poor 3-for-12 effort from the free throw line.

“It came down to one phase of the game and that’s free throws,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “Three for twelve you are not going to win any ballgames.”

“We played well enough to win the game, defensively we were fine, offensively we were fine, and it just came down to missed free throws.”

Forrest led at the end of each of the first three quarters, but failed to put away the Lady Knights when they had the chance.

“The past couple of weeks we have not been making shots we usually make and we start the game by missing layups and free throws,” Jean said. “We kept battling and kept playing and guarding them good. We are going to battle and fight.”

Jaide Langley (12) grabs a pass and scores off a Nolensville turnover in the fourth quarter to cut the Lady Knights’ lead to one-point with 56.3 seconds left.

A low scoring first period ended in a 6-6 tie before Forrest took a 23-18 lead to the half behind five 3-pointers in the quarter with four coming from Carissa Curtis, who led all scorers in the game with 17 points.

Nolensville came back in the third quarter as the Lady Rockets helped in the comeback by missing five free throws in the period.

A Caymin Ladd bucket for Nolensville with under a minute to go in the third quarter tied the game at 30 until Jaide Langley buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Forrest a three point lead, entering the fourth quarter.

Nolensville tied it at 33 before going up 35-33 on a Ladd basket.

Laura Mealer (23) ties the game at 35-35 with 4:30 remaining in the contest.

Laura Mealer scored in the paint and was fouled, but could not convert the three-point play the old-fashioned way and Ladd came back to drain a 3-pointer the new way and put Nolensville in front for good midway through the period.

Forrest tried to scratch its way back into the game and with 56.3 seconds remaining in the contest, Langley scored off of a Lady Knights turnover to make it a 42-41 game.

The Lady Knights showed how valuable making free throws is as Parker Leftwich and Grace Baird went 4-for-4 down the stretch with both players converting both ends of a one-and-one from the charity stripe to put the game away.

Forrest is in fourth place in the District 12-AA standings and would face Community in the first round of the district tournament at Chapel Hill if things stay the same.

The Lady Rockets entertain intra-county rival Marshall County tonight in a game that has huge implications for the Tigerettes, who are trying to overtake the Lady Knights with just three league games to go.

Forrest plays at Community and Murfreesboro Central Magnet next week, while the Tigerettes travel to Nolensville on Tuesday and MCHS completes its regular season schedule next Friday at Giles County.

“We needed this win to have a chance tonight to get into the top two or three, now we are sitting at four no matter what happens,” Jean said. “Friday night will come down to us, can we overcome the lack of confidence on our shots? We have one kid shooting with confidence and that’s Carissa, the rest of them should because they are good shooters.”

“We will take what they give us on defense, they are going to be defensively sound, but it is nothing we haven’t seen yet.”

Nolensville 6 12 12 16-46

Forrest 6 17 10 10-43

Nolensville (46): Parker Leftwich 15, Caymin Ladd 11, Grace Baird 10, Sydney Mickulin 8, Kendall Matas 2.

3-Point Goals (2): Baird, Ladd.

Free Throws (10-for-15): Baird 5-for-6, Leftwich 3-for-5, Ladd 2-for-2, Matas 0-for-2.

Forrest (43): Carissa Curtis 17, Jaide Langley 9, Ally Blanton 6, Laura Mealer 6, Anna Blanton 3, Sydney Hill 2.

3-Point Goals (6): Curtis 4, Langley, Ally Blanton.

Free Throws (3-for-12): Anna Blanton 1-for-2, Carissa Curtis 1-for-2, Ally Blanton 1-for-2, Laura Mealer 0-for-6.

Halftime Score: Forrest 23, Nolensville 18.

District 12-AA Standings

Nolensville (17-6, 6-1)

Marshall County (20-4, 6-1)

Community (15-7, 5-2)

Forrest (15-9, 3-4)

Giles County (5-10, 1-6)

Murfreesboro Central Magnet (0-17, 0-7)