Lady Rockets take down Tigerettes in double overtime thriller
It was a packed house Friday night at Chapel Hill as the Forrest Lady Rockets took on Marshall County High School in a late season intra-county rivalry contest that also big implications on the regular season District 12-AA standings.
The fans got their money’s worth as the game went the distance and more with Forrest taking a 45-41 double-overtime senior night win.
“If you like watching good defensive battling and good basketball you got your money’s worth,” Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. “Neither team scored the ball real well tonight, but both teams got after each other defensively.”
“They tried to make us do things out of our comfort zone and we did the same to them and it was blow for blow all night long. They punched us and we punched them back.”
The Lady Rockets came in to the contest locked into the fourth position in the district standings while the Tigerettes needed the win to keep pace with first place Nolensville.
The Tigerettes traveled to Nolensville last night and play at Giles County in the regular season finale Friday.
Forrest played at Community on Tuesday and finishes at Murfreesboro Central Magnet on Friday before the District 12-AA Tournament begins next week at Chapel Hill.
“This should give us some confidence and some momentum,” Jean said. “We have to go into Tuesday and win that game and win the game Friday night to come into the tournament feeling good about what we are doing.”
Kelsey Keiler, who led all scorers in the game with 16 points, dropped in six points in the first quarter to spark the Tigerettes off to a 10-6 lead.
Forrest’s only points came on 3-pointers by Carissa Curtis and Ally Blanton.
The Tigerettes maintained a slim lead for most of the second period until a Laura Mealer bucket tied the game at 15 and with 1:40 remaining in the first half, Sydney Hill scored in the low post for Forrest to give the Lady Rockets a 17-15 halftime lead.
The Forrest defense held firm in the third quarter, holding the Tigerettes to five points.
A Dionna Crutcher bucket with three minutes remaining in the period kept the Chapel Hill lead at one point before Forrest went on a 6-0 run via a pair of Jaide Langley 3-pointers to take a 27-20 to the fourth quarter.
Curtis banged home a 3-pointer to start the final period before a pair of Hannah Davis buckets in the low post made it a six-point game.
With 3:52 remaining in the contest, MCHS point guard Demariae Ingram fouled out with Forrest leading 32-24.
Instead of folding, the Tigerettes dug in their heels and slowly came back, beginning with one free throw by Karlye Wiser to make it 32-25 with 2:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Moments later, the Lady Rockets missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line and Wiser made them pay, draining a 3-pointer to cut the Chapel Hill lead to 32-28.
After a timeout with 1:14 left in the game, Forrest turned the ball over and Keiler scored on a set play in the blocks to cut the lead to two points.
Forrest had the ball in a timeout with 30.9 seconds remaining in the game, but coughed the rock up out of the stoppage and the Tigerettes called time with 14.9 seconds left.
Hannah Davis fought for a rebound and knocked it back in, tying the game in the waning seconds and the Tigerettes had a chance to win when Keiler stole the inbounds pass, but her game-winning attempt fell off the rim and the game went to overtime tied at 32.
Curtis put Forrest in front with a pair of free throws to start the overtime and Keiler made one of two from the charity stripe midway through the extra time to make it a one-point game at 34-33.
Hill scored in the low post to put the Lady Rockets up 36-33 before the two squads exchanged turnovers, setting up an ice cold 3-pointer by Crutcher that tied the game with 37 seconds remaining.
Forrest could not score on its final opportunity in the first overtime and the two teams headed for a second extra period tied at 36.
The Tigerettes turned the ball over to begin the stanza and Mealer responded with a bucket in the paint.
Marshall County had a chance to tie the game, but missed two free throws.
After a missed shot by the Lady Rockets, Keiler made one-of-two from the charity stripe to make it a one point game at 38-37, but Anna Blanton got the one free throw back for Forrest.
A turnover by the Tigerettes led to two made free throws by Curtis and Marshall County coughed the ball up again, sending Mealer to the free throw line with 55.8 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
Mealer buried both attempts to open up a six-point lead for Forrest at 43-37, but Keiler kept the Tigerettes in the game with her final basket of the night with 20.6 seconds left.
“We did whatever we could in regulation and the first overtime to give the game to them,” Jean said. “A couple of weeks ago, we would have lost by 10 or 15, but something is clicking with them, they are binding with each other, battling for each other and tonight they battled their way to a win.”
Keiler fouled out on the next Forrest touch and Anna Blanton canned one free and she missed the second, but twin sister Ally grabbed the rebound went to the charity stripe where she made one-of-two to make it a two possession game, sealing the win for Forrest.
“We got better tonight than we were Tuesday night and we have to get better Tuesday than we were tonight,” Jean said. “If we do that, we can make some noise in the tournament.”
MCHS 10 5 5 12 4 5-41
FHS 6 11 10 5 4 9-45
MCHS (41): Kelsey Keiler 16, Hannah Davis 9, Karlye Wiser 6, Dionna Crutcher 5, Demariae Ingram 3, Sydney Tidwell 2.
3-Point Goals (2): Wiser, Crutcher.
Free Throws (5-for-13): Keiler 2-for-5, Davis 1-for-4, Wiser 1-for-2, Ingram 1-for-2.
FHS (45): Carissa Curtis 15, Ally Blanton 8, Laura Mealer 8, Jaide Langley 6, Anna Blanton 4, Sydney Hill 4.
3-Point Goals (5): Curtis 2, Langley 2, Ally Blanton.
Free Throws (13-for-18): Curtis 5-for-6, Anna Blanton 4-for-6, Ally Blanton 2-for-4, Laura Mealer 2-for-2.
Halftime Score: Forrest 17, Marshall County 15.