Close game gets away late as Rockets fall to McEwen, 73-56

Friday, December 21, 2007
Photo by Anthony S. Puca Devin O'Brien had 11 points in the Rockets' loss to McEwen.

The Forrest Rockets played a great three quarters against the McEwen Warriors Tuesday night in Chapel Hill before being outscored 24-8 in the final period and dropping to 3-9 on the season.

Coming off a big win versus Cascade last week, the Rockets got off to a nice start in the contest as they led 9-4 on a Devin O'Brien three-pointer midway through the first quarter before McEwen took control and see sawed ahead 19-16 at the end of the quarter.

Forrest went down by five points at 23-18 and then scored six straight on two free throws by Kendall Knight, a Nick Schnapp bucket on a steal by O'Brien, a Colin Henson jumper, and a tough bucket inside on a put-back by Parker Holton that gave them a 24-23 lead.

It was back and forth the rest of the quarter as McEwen went up 32-29 before a buzzer beater by Seth Brothers made the score 32-31 at the half.

There was no breakout by either squad in the third period as the action was tight and the lead went back and forth again the entire eight minutes. Forrest trailed by four, 47-43, late in the quarter when Preston Pratt pulled up with a jumper in the lane and then stole the ball on the next Warrior possession and raced in for a lay-up to tie the contest at 47.

McEwen went ahead at the buzzer when an errant rebound was scooped up by Eli Spivey and knocked off the glass for two at the buzzer for a 49-47 McEwen lead after three periods.

Schnapp put the Rockets in front 50-49 with a three-bomb to begin the last quarter and the game stayed close for almost six minutes. With the score 56-54 with just 2:58 to play, McEwen took advantage of some questionable calls and went on a 17-2 burst to end the game.

McEwen Head Coach Phil Ross said after the game, "We played four great quarters, and we knew we had to because Forrest is always tough. We have good guards and they handled Forrest's pressure well tonight and moved the ball around good in the second half to give us some great scoring opportunities.

Schnapp led the Rockets with 16 points, O'Brien helped with 11 markers, Knight and Henson scored eight, Brothers netted five, Pratt had four, and Kyle Anglin and Holton each had two. Bryant Brink led McEwen's balanced scoring attack with 20 points, Ethan Timmons had 16, Ryan Ross and Casey Sliman both netted 15, and John Fisher scored seven.