CHAPEL HILL — It was a slow start for both teams in the district 7-AA matchup between the Forrest Lady Rockets and Cascade Lady Champions Friday night. Even with that slow start, a …
CHAPEL HILL — It was a slow start for both teams in the district 7-AA matchup between the Forrest Lady Rockets and Cascade Lady Champions Friday night.
Even with that slow start, a second-half out-pouring was more than enough for Forrest to knock off the Lady Champs and secure a slot in the district championship against Community with the 47-28 win.
It was all Macyn Kirby in the first quarter for the Lady Rockets, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead as Cascade led 9-6 heading into the second frame.
Cascade’s Suzanna Crews netted a three within moments of hitting the floor in the second, cushioning the Champion lead.
Though a stagnant few minutes, Forrest picked up momentum, Megan Mealer knocking down a three-point goal, Kaylin Pope and Kirby tacking on a goal each to tie it up at 13 at the half.
“The first half was very stagnant,” said Forrest coach Hal Murrell. “I have to give them (Cascade) credit, they mixed up their defense. We were playing to not lose instead of to win. It affected our flow big time.”
The Lady Rockets’ momentum continued with Mealer coming straight out of the gate with a three ball to start the second half.
Kirby kept the fire going with three, three-pointers in the third, picking up nine of her 19 points on the evening.
And with the help of seniors Carli Warner and Samantha Hopkins, Forrest held the biggest lead of the night at 12 heading into the final frame.
“We knew coming in they were going to start taking away the ‘knowns,’ and the ‘knowns’ are obviously Macyn Kirby and Kinslee Inlow,” said Murrell. “So, these other girls had to step up and realize that they’re going to have to contribute. And there’s other ways to contribute other than scoring points. It was a big team effort.”
Inlow didn’t stay quiet, putting up all nine of her points in the fourth quarter, sealing the win for the Lady Rockets.
“I thought the second half we were able to get going, and kudos to how much better we’ve gotten throughout the course of the season,” said Murrell. “If this had been November, we weren’t going to pull that game off. It just goes to show how hard they’ve worked. Hopefully we can keep going. We have a really tough task Monday night against a really, really good team.”
Kirby led all scorers with 19 points.
The Lady Rockets will meet the Community Viqueens in the championship game Monday night at 7:30 pm.
“When you’re sitting there watching them (Community) play, where do you start?” said Murrell. “Do you start trying to take away their post? And then you got four players out there knocking down three-pointers left and right. They hit 12 on us at home in the first three quarters the last time we played them. We’re going to have to hope they don’t knock down 60% of their threes like they did. We’re going to have to play better. We are going to have to defend and mix things up defensively, hopefully to keep them guessing a little bit. We’re just going to have to play free. What do we have to lose? We haven’t beaten them in two years, so why not go in there loose and have a good time?”
Forrest 6 7 20 14 — 47
Cascade 9 4 8 7 — 28
Forrest: Macyn Kirby 19, Kinslee Inlow 9, Megan Mealer 6, Carli Warner 6, Kaylin Pope 5, Samantha Hopkins 2 Cascade: Sophie Ray 12, Kaegan Young 4, Suzanna Crews 4, Laina Carter 3, Kadence Bynum 3, Kaydence Miller 2 3-Point goals: Forrest (5): Kirby 3, Mealer 2; Cascade (2): Carter, Bynum Halftime score: Forrest 13, Cascade 13.