Rockets redeem poor performance

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Forrest Rockets bounced backed from a sub-par performance against Cascade Friday with a 58-32 blowout victory on the road at Community Tuesday night.

Head coach Davy McClaran showed his displeasure with the Cascade performance by yanking the entire starting squad.

Devin O'Brien, senior guard and vocal leader said after the game, "I expect any coach to be mad at us with the way we played Friday. We gave up on him. Tonight, we came out with more energy and meshed together as a team. We ran, we pressed all the way down the floor, and we made them make their shots, and they didn't."

The Rockets set the tone early, trapping at every opportunity in a full-court defensive blitz that threw the Vikings completely out of their rhythm. The Rockets scored first when Nick Schnapp stole the ball and found a streaking Colin Henson for an easy lay-up.

Schnapp made it four-zip on a jumper after a Viking turnover and Henson upped the score to 6-0 two possessions later on an up-and-under lay-in.

That was all the points the Rockets would need to lead 6-2 at the end of the quarter, holding Community scoreless until the 2:31 mark.

The second quarter had more offense and Community began to find a little rhythm, coming back to within three points at 10-7, and to a single marker at 13-12 on a foul shot by Cody Pierce.

Henson hit a foul shot, Forrest stole the inbound pass and Kyle Anglin found a wide-open O'Brien in the corner for a three-bomb and a 17-12 lead.

The Vikings cut it back to one at 17-16, but Forrest answered once more when Seth Brothers hit a three-pointer from the top of the key that sent the visitors to the locker room trailing 20-16 at the half.

Friday night at Cascade, the Rockets were outscored 10-0 to begin the third quarter. That led to McClaran's decision to pull his starters and go to the bench.

Not this time. The Rockets kicked in the afterburners, going on a 7-2 run, a 6-1 run and ending the quarter with four straight points on an Anglin three-bomb and a Henson foul shot to lead big, 41-24 after three periods.

The Rockets continued to work throughout the fourth quarter and led 53-30 when McClaran called them all to the bench again, but this time it was for a job well done and an all-out hustle effort that put the Rockets back in the chase for third place in District 9A.

Schnapp led the Rockets with 17 points; Kendall Knight struck for 10; Brothers netted nine; O'Brien, eight; Henson, six; Anglin, three; freshman Ferris Perkins scored three; and Buck Bennett had one bucket.

The Rockets stand at 4-5 in district play, one game behind Cascade in the win column. Forrest has three district games left: MTCS on Friday, Community again on Monday, and they finish up the regular season on the road at F.C. Boyd next Tuesday.

If both squads finish tied, the coin will be tossed with the winner hosting a first round district tournament match-up on Feb. 11 or 12.