The Forbush Lady Falcons are the most successful women’s basketball team in school history. – Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple
HICKORY — There is a saying about how hard it is to go on a far journey, just to come up short at the end. The quote goes on to say that the journey back reveals what is truly good for oneself. Although at the time of the ending, things can seem bleak and hard to understand.
On Saturday afternoon, the No. 3 Forbush Lady Falcons (27-4, 12-0) basketball team were on a journey to the State Championship when they faltered and came up short. Forbush took on undefeated No. 1 Mountain Heritage (28-0, 12-0) in the Western Regional Finals on the campus of Lees-McRae College.
The Lady Falcons started off the game in high fashion, but they were unable to keep up with their opponents in the final two quarters of play. Mountain Heritage came out strong in the third and fourth quarter to outscore the Falcons 38-11. When the final buzzer sounded, Forbush fell 45-70.
Both teams had to shake off their nerves in the opening plays of the first period, with each team having two turnovers in the first 30 seconds. Forbush was the first to settle down and score a basket. Nicole Scott had the ball at her hands and passed it off to Kyndall Ellison. Ellison evaded her defender and put the ball towards the hoop for a successful jump shot. With 7:28 left in the period, Forbush had a 2-0 lead.
Mountain Heritage answered back just 24 seconds later with a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc. With the score 3-2 in the Cougars’ favor, the teams once again started to turn the ball over. From the 7:01 mark to 5:45, Forbush had three turnovers and Mountain Heritage had two.
Mountain Heritage called a timeout to get its team regrouped, and the Falcons also had their chance to take a breather. Out of the timeout, Scott stole the ball from the Cougars and the Falcons were back on offense. Hope Grimes received a pass from her teammate and stepped back behind the arc. Grimes showed off her sharpshooting skills as she drained a 3-pointer and put Forbush up 5-3.
Just a few seconds later, the Falcons extended their lead with two successful free throws by Scott. With 5:01 left in the opening period, Forbush had its biggest lead of the night, 7-3, over the Cougars.
As the quarter went on, Parkley Hennings hit two free throws for a 9-5 score. The Cougars were down by four, but they didn’t let their tempo waver. Mountain Heritage was able to put together a scoring run to take a 10-9 lead over the Falcons with 2:31 left.
Forbush took the lead back when Scott hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. Mountain Heritage put two points up just a few seconds later for a 13-12 game. The back-and-forth tempo continued on until the end of the period. Ellison hit a lay-up and a free throw, then Scott hit a 3-pointer. When the quarter was over, Forbush led the Cougars 18-16.
In the second period, both teams were evenly matched up once again. Mountain Heritage added 16 points to its side of the board, while the Falcons also put up 16 points.
The Cougars took control of the quarter and went on a rally to take a 28-22 lead over the Falcons. Forbush was able to pull out of the hole with baskets by Hennings and Morgan Beane. Scott pulled Forbush within one point with a basket from the post. With 2:29 left before halftime, Mountain Heritage held a 30-29 lead over the Falcons.
Just as the green-and-white fans thought their team would pull away from the Falcons, Forbush turned up its momentum. Ellison went to the free-throw line and missed both of her shots, but Beane was able to box out and come up with the rebound. Beane passed the ball to Scott, who was set up on the left side of the arc. Scott was wide open and wasted no time putting the ball towards the hoop. Her shot banked off the backboard into the hoop to give Forbush a 32-20 lead.
Mountain Heritage was able to tie the game 32-32, but Forbush still had time for another basket. When the clock hit 9.2, Hennings received the pass from Scott and hit her lay-up. At halftime, Forbush led the Cougars 34-32.
In the third and fourth quarters, things started to shift towards the Cougars. Mountain Heritage knocked down 13 points in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth. Forbush tried to keep up with the momentum of the top-ranked Cougars, but the Falcons were outplayed on both sides of the court.
Mountain Heritage used its veteran knowledge to gain leverage over the Falcons as the game went on. The Cougars had five seniors on the team, and all five are known for their sharpshooting from the arc. In the third and fourth quarters, the seniority proved to be the difference in the two teams. Forbush couldn’t keep up with the pace set by the Cougars, and the red and blue fell 70-45.
Scott led the Falcons with 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Hennings added eight points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Ellison had seven points and seven rebounds. Grimes had seven points, two rebounds and two steals. Gammons added three points, two rebounds, one assist and two steals. Beane had two points two rebounds, two steals and two assists. Anthony had one point and two rebounds.
Forbush can take away several lessons from Saturday’s game, but it can also hold its head high. The Lady Falcons are a history-making team for Forbush. They have won more games than any other women’s team in school history, scored more points than any other team and had some of the best support that has ever been seen for Forbush women’s basketball.
The Lady Falcons also made it to the Western Regional Finals, which is two rounds further than any women’s basketball team at Forbush. They were also named the 2019 Western Piedmont Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions. Scott and Hennings both surpassed 1,000 points, and the Falcons placed second in the Mary Garber Tournament.
Forbush will only be graduating one senior, Anthony, and will be returning several starters. Right now, the Lady Falcons will regroup and relax before things start back up in August. Forbush will no doubt be one of the top teams in 2019-2020, and it will be looking to avenge things on the court.
The Falcons end their 2018-2019 season with an overall record of 27-4 and a WPAC record of 12-0.
The Forbush Lady Falcons are the most successful women’s basketball team in school history.
Forbush captains, Meghan Anthony, Nicole Scott and Parkely Hennings, pose with head coach Bradley Shore and the Western Regional 2A Runner-up trophy.