Basketball season opens early in Chapel Hill
By Anthony S. Puca
Tough early season match-ups pay off late in season
Forrest Middle School coaches Sherry Jones and Todd Garrison took a page out of the book of high school coaches Robbie Reasonover and Davy McClaran on Monday night in Chapel Hill as they opened the 2007-2008 season a week early to play games versus the tougher and larger Whitthorne Middle School from Columbia.
The varsity teams have played tough early schedules that battle hardens their players for the late stretch run and the post season games to come. "That was kind of our plan," Jones said, "We haven't played Whitthorne in quite a few years and we knew it would be a good test"
The FMS girls started great out the gate, moving the ball around and feeding the low post where Adrean Jordan went to work. The Lady Rockets led nine to five at the end of the first period and pushed the lead up to 13-7 before the Lady Tigers went on an 8 to0 run to go up 15-13 midway through the second period.
Whitthorne came out of the halftime break and pushed the lead into double digits. Forrest tried to make a comeback late, but the Lady Tigers would not relinquish their hold on the game. The final score was 32-27.
Jordan had 18 points, 7 rebounds, and blocked a shot for the Lady Rockets. Akera Hopkins led the way for Whitthorne with 14 points.
Boys team dosen't fair much better versus talented Tigers
Zach Ray scored the first bucket of the season for the Rockets and Logan Wheeler scored on a nice dish from Colby Anglin to give the home squad a 4-0 lead. Ryan Daughrity hit a three ball from the left side late in the first quarter to put Forrest up 7-6.
Whitthorne outscored the Rockets 19 to 7 in the second period to build a commanding 25-14 halftime lead.
Toby Frierson and Jarvis Webster led the way for Whitthorne in the second half as they combined for 38 points in the 50-31 victory. Anglin led the way with 7 points for Forrest, Daughrity had two three pointers for 6 points, and Zack Horvath and Logan Wheeler netted 6 apiece.
FMS will have another tough match-up versus Columbia's other large middle school when they host E.A. Cox on Monday at 6 p.m. They will also play Whitthorne again on Tuesday in Columbia before they open up conference play versus Cascade on Halloween eve in Wartrace.