HOLDEN – Holden conducted its Senior Night Thursday in a District 7-B matchup with Mount Hermon.
The seniors did their part, but those in attendance got a little glimpse into the future of the program as well.
Freshman Brooke Foster scored 18 points, joining seniors Emma Hutchinson and Jaycee Hughes in double figures to help Holden cruised to a 64-21 victory that helped secure the district championship.
For Holden coach Pam Forbes, it’s all about getting geared up for the postseason after her ream improved to 11-15 overall and 4-0 in district play.
“It was a great Senior Night,” Forbes said after 10 players scored and the Lady Rockets ended the game with their junior varsity team on the floor after building a big lead. “I can’t say enough about my two seniors. This little group of kids have dealt with a lot of adversity this year, but my seniors have kept it together – in 2020 -- have gotten together, and they’ve worked very, very hard to get the younger players ready to go for the playoffs.
“The younger girls are starting to understand what we want,” Forbes continued. “I think we’re playing our very best basketball. We’re having our very best practices.”
Holden led 13-8 with roughly two minutes to play in the first quarter but set the tone for the remainder of the game with a 7-0 run to close the quarter.
The Lady Rockets continued the trend in the second quarter, taking advantage of Mount Hermon turnovers that helped stretch the lead to 39-10 on a basket by Foster, who had 10 points in the second quarter and 16 in the first half.
“That’s a bright spot in our future,” Forbes said. “I think we have lots of bright spots in our future, but we want to focus on this year right now. I think there’s going to be really good things to come out of all the younger Lady Rockets.”
Hutchinson, who had 11 points, scored six straight late in the second quarter, with her steal and layup stretching the lead to 52-14 before Holden went into halftime ahead 54-14.
“I think the first quarter, we were trying to make stuff happen, and then it was like we would get the steal and miss the layup or get the steal and walk, or get the steal and get fouled and miss the shots, but then when we started the second quarter, we were like, ‘OK. Relax,’” Forbes said. “Actually, that’s what Craig (Forbes) told them at the end of the first quarter – ‘relax, play hard, and good things will happen,’ and that’s what happened.”
It may be late in the season, but Foster said Holden's still in the process of figuring some things out.
“Some of the times we got in a hurry, and we shouldn’t have,” she said of some of the team’s transition runs. “We should have slowed down a little bit. We’re just learning to make sure we slow down and take our time on some things and not get in a hurry and make unnecessary turnovers.”
Hughes also had 11 points, with six coming in the second quarter.
Foster’s last basket of the night put Holden ahead 62-16 in the third quarter, and Forbes went to her bench for the rest of the game with the Lady Rockets led 64-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve won two games in a row now,” Forbes said, noting the Lady Rockets will host Class C No. 1 Plainview on Saturday at noon and Class 4A John F. Kennedy at Lake Area on Tuesday. “I know that seems like a simple thing, but we’ve had tough schedule and a tough season. We’re sitting in a good spot in the playoffs. We’re calling these dress rehearsal games.
“We’re going to have fun with this," Forbes said of her team's final two games. "Because it’s all about being on a team and working hard and dreaming the big dream, and then if something happens and you don’t get it, then you just don’t get it, but we want to give the kids the opportunity to have fun just like the years when we’re 24-0 at this point. We want to make sure that we give them the opportunity to have fun and look back on their days of being a Lady Rocket as being a great experience.”