FMS Rockets finish second, say good-bye to popular coach

Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Forrest Middle School Rockets pose with the second place trophy. Coach Todd Garrison, second from left in back row coached his last game in Chapel Hill Saturday night.

The 47th Annual World Tournament ended Saturday night in Chapel Hill with the FMS Rockets taking second place and the seven year reign of their popular Head Coach Todd Garrison also ended as he coached his last game.

The Rockets lost the final to Sunset Middle School 39-34 in a gallant effort versus the powerful Williamson County team and lost Garrison who is re-locating back to his home state of Kentucky.

Garrison and his wife are both Kentucky natives and graduates of Western Kentucky University and after the game he sadly said, "We are moving to be closer to our family members. We both believe everything happens for a reason. All the people here at Forrest have always been very supportive of us and very supportive of our decision to leave. I will miss all of them tremendously and I will especially miss these kids."

Forrest Athletic Director Scott Delk said, "We hate to see Coach Garrison leave, he has been outstanding in the classroom and as the coach of the Rockets. We wish him well; he has been a tremendous coach and is well liked by all the faculty and staff here at Forrest."

The Rockets had their work cut out for them in the game against the powerful Sunset Middle School team that buzz-sawed its way the tournament. The Brentwood school has 800 students for just the seventh and eighth grades, more than the total number of students at Forrest in grades 6-12.

The Sabers came out in a full-court press versus the Rockets and quickly jumped on the hosts for a 15-5 first quarter lead. Sunset point guard Devin Robinson scored 9 points in the quarter.

The Rockets found themselves down by eleven, 22-11 at the half. Zach Ray had ten of Forrest's eleven points as he went 6-12 from the free line in the first twelve minutes.

The Rockets would not quit as they scratched, clawed, and hustled the entire game and cut into the Sabers' lead by the end of third quarter, trailing by nine at 31-20.

Forrest would go out in style for their departing coach and at the outset of the fourth quarter they made a huge run as Ray scored to make it 31-22 and Marshall Hunter lit another fire under the crowd and the team with an off balance three-bomb to make it 31-25.

It looked like the Rockets would cut it even closer after Ray blocked a shot, but FMS turned it back over to Sunset who called timeout to quell the heat.

The Sabers came out of the T.O. and Andy Moore promptly drained a three to quiet the crowd. The Rockets fought back once again as Ray scored four straight to cut the lead to 34-29. The Rockets would inch closer again with just 19.8 seconds left when Hunter hit another three-pointer to make the score 38-34, but Sunset held on to take the title at 39-34.

Ray finished with 16 points, Hunter had 10, Colby Anglin scored 6, Logan Wheeler netted 3, and Zach Horvath had 1 point. For Sunset, Robinson finished with 16 and Ben Brock had 13.

Eagleville finished third in the boys section with Anglin, Ray, and Horvath being selected to the All-Tournament team for the Rockets.

Middle Tennessee Christian School finished first in the girl's bracket, followed by Cascade and Liberty.