by Darren Reese
GREENEVILLE - Sometimes you run into a team that is just a little bit hotter.
That was the case for the Chuckey-Doak girls Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Landair Ladies Classic.
The Lady Knights shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but still found themselves trailing 39-28 at the break against a Rockcastle team that made 18-of-28 (64.3%) shots.
Chuckey-Doak couldn't keep up the pace in the third quarter and the Lady Rockets went on to pick up a 62-52 victory at Hal Henard Gym.
"Our defense wasn't where it should have been tonight," said Chuckey-Doak head coach Beth Frye, whose squad fell to 6-9 on the season.
"We were a little tired, I think, after last night (a 64-48 win over Charlotte Christian). We came out flat and then the third quarter really hurt us."
Rockcastle wasn't a one-player show, but senior forward Michaela Hunter had a phenominal all-around performance. She finished with 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while recording eight rebounds, seven steals, and seven assists.
"That's usually what we get from her," Rockcastle head coach Chrysti Noble said. "When she is on like that, everyone else usually follows suit, and that's what happened tonight.
The Rockets had two other players reach double figures in scoring. Amelia Eversole scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Alexis Chasteen added 12 points.
Rockcastle finished the game 28-of-51 (54.9%) from the field, and the majority of those came on open looks around the basket. The Rockets scored 42 points in the paint while making just one three-pointer.
The Rockets led by as many as 11 in the first quarter, but Chuckey-Doak used a 8-2 run early in the second to pull within 22-21 at one point.
That was the closest it would be the rest of the way, though, as Rockcastle out-scored the Lady Knights 17-7 over the final 5:09 of the half.
Hunter made 10 of the first 11 shots she took in the game and had 19 points at halftime.
"She is a phenomenal player, but we helped her out some," Frye noted. "We've got to do a better job on the defensive end."
The margin balooned to as many as 22 in the third quarter as Frye got all 12 players on her team some playing time. Chuckey-Doak outscored the Rockets 17-7 in the fourth quarter to keep the final score respectable.
All but one player on the Lady Knights' roster contributed to the final point total. Andi Lamb led the way with 12 points, followed by Hannah Riddle with 10.