Lady Rockets race past Cornersville

Friday, November 22, 2013
Forrest's Haily Collins fires up a short jumper in the fourth quarter against Cornersville. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After suffering a 53-46 loss to Wayne County three days earlier, the Forrest Lady Rockets (2-1) vented their frustrations on county rival Cornersville on Tuesday night when they went on the road and throttled the Lady Bulldogs 58-25 to hand CHS their first defeat of the season.

The two teams split the season series last year, but the Lady Bulldogs disposed of Cornersville (2-1) in surprisingly easy fashion this time around and forged a 43-12 lead in the first half before outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 15-13 over the final two quarters to cruise to the 33-point win.

Strong half

Forrest hit 16-of-38 shots during their dominant first half performance en route to finishing with 21 field goals on 34 percent shooting, which included a 4-of-13 effort from three-point range. The Lady Rockets also committed just seven turnovers, outrebounded CHS 38-28, and held a 17-5 edge on the offensive glass.

Cornersville, conversely, wilted under Forrest's stifling defensive pressure and mustered just eight baskets on 22 percent shooting, while knocking down only 1-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc and committing 21 turnovers.

"I'm happy with the way we played from start to finish. We were aggressive and that's the way we've got to play to win ballgames," said FHS coach Jeremy Jean. "I was pleased with our defensive intensity and pressure and the way we did it without hand checking."

Offensive leader

Savannah Brothers led the Lady Rockets offensive attack by pouring in 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with four assists and four steals. Caitlyn Yost followed Brothers with 11 points and Sierra Waggoner tallied 10 points. Hannah Evans added eight points for Forrest as well, while Kristen Holder, Haily Collins, and Margaret Bryan notched five, four, and three points respectively.

Cornersville's Breanne Dunkleman goes up for a layup in the first quarter against Forrest.

Brooke Holt paced the Lady Bulldogs with seven points and eight rebounds. Madison Hopkins also tallied five points, while Breanne Dunkleman and Ashley Umbles both chipped in four points. Samantha Prosser (three points), Haley Stacey (one point), and Carson Coble (one point) rounded out the scoring for Cornersville.

"I think we got flustered very early and never got into a groove. The highlight of our game was a half court shot at the end of the first half and when that's your best highlight that's pretty sad," said CHS coach Peyton Newton. "I've got a tough bunch though. We'll watch the game film and see what we did wrong. We know we didn't play well, but it's early and we can still get a whole lot better."

Race is on

The Lady Rockets set the tone early and raced out to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest thanks to a Brothers trey and a pair of layups from Evans and Waggoner.

Holt converted a three-point play to narrow the gap to 7-3 midway through the first quarter, but Forrest responded with a 17-2 run behind six points from Yost and five points from Waggoner to open up a 24-7 advantage early in the second period.

After Dunkleman hit a layup to trim the deficit to 24-9, the Lady Rockets ripped off 19 straight points, highlighted by threes from Yost and Holder, to push their lead to 43-9 late in the second quarter.

Hopkins then banked in a long three-pointer as time expired in the first half before Forrest tallied the first five points of the third quarter on a Holder jumper and a three-point play by Brothers to make it 48-12.

Dunkleman and Umbles scored consecutive layups to close the gap to 48-16, but FHS put together a 9-2 spurt with the help of five points from Brothers to stretch their lead to 57-18 late in the third quarter.

Cornersville then outscored the Lady Rockets 7-1 the rest of the way behind four points from Holt for the 58-25 final.