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Forbes makes pro hoops debut in Australia

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UTM Forbes

UT-Martin forward Holly Forbes (34) dribbles into the paint during the third quarter of an NCAA women's basketball game against Tennessee State on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Martin, Tenn.

Former North County and Mineral Area women’s basketball star Holly Forbes made her professional debut on the other side of the world Saturday night in Mitchell Park, Australia.

Forbes was in the starting lineup at forward, and played 22 minutes for the South Adelaide Panthers of the NBL1 league during a 76-56 home loss to the Norwood Flames.

She totaled six points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks, but picked up her third and fourth fouls early in the fourth quarter and watched the visitors pull away with a 16-0 surge spanning nine minutes.

South Adelaide (8-2) competed without its two leading scorers, and shot just 28 percent from the field after entering the weekend tied for first place atop the Central Conference ladder.

Forbes arrived as a necessary mid-season acquisition for the Panthers, and made her defensive presence known by swatting two shots in the opening minutes while guarding both the low post and perimeter.

Her first points were registered on a fading 12-footer that banked and rolled down late in the second quarter. She added two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to bring the Panthers within 41-34 at halftime.

South Adelaide began the third quarter with a 7-0 spurt. Forbes first spun right, then pivoted left for her most impressive basket over a taller defender, and later found cutting teammate Jordan Hunter for a layup off a bounce pass to draw within 43-42.

But the remainder of the contest belonged for Norwood, which promptly netted 10 consecutive points to restore a double-digit advantage. The largest spread reached 74-50 with 1:17 remaining.

Forbes is the second sibling in her family to sign a pro sports contract. Brother Drew Forbes has been an offensive guard for the Cleveland Browns since his selection in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The all-state high school and all-American junior college hoops performer wrapped her collegiate career as a graduate transfer at UT-Martin in early March.

She averaged 9.5 points, a team-best 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game for the OVC-member Skyhawks following her previous two-year stop at Robert Morris University in western Pennsylvania.

Jade Johnson had a game-high 21 points on Saturday for the Panthers, whose 7-0 run to start the game was trumped by the Flames’ 15-4 response.

Brooke Basham netted 20 points while playing all 40 minutes for Norwood, and Alex Wilson added 19.


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