The Forrest Rockets battled their way to a 43-42 win over Community on senior night in Chapel Hill Tuesday night, keeping them in the thick of the District 9-A race.
Junior postman Ferris Perkins came up with a huge fourth quarter for the Rockets, scoring 9 of his team high 14 points in the period, including a big three-pointer and an ice cold 5-6 from the free throw line.
"This was for our seniors," Perkins said in the postgame interview. "Now they can have something to remember when they graduate."
The win also moved the Rockets into a tie with MTCS for the all-important fourth spot in the district standings with identical 5-5 records. The two teams meet Friday night in Murfreesboro.
Community stands in third place with a 5-4 record.
Fourth place is not what the Rockets want according to Perkins who said, "We are going to try to get that third place spot and finish this season strong."
Community's Zach Haynes opened the scoring before Forrest senior Preston Pratt threw down a long range three-pointer to give the Rockets the early lead.
The two squads would battle back and forth the entire quarter and the Vikings held a slim 11-9 lead when Perkins tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer, tying the game at 11 after the first eight minutes.
Taylor Gentry banged home a three-ball to begin the second quarter for Forrest, but Community would come back, scoring five straight for a 16-14 lead.
The Vikings mounted a charge for a 21-18 margin before Kyle Gugger knocked in a jumper in the paint late in the half, sending the two squads into the locker room with Community leading 21-20.
The battle continued on into the second half as the two squads went tit for tat until Kyle Anglin hit a three-pointer from the top of he key, giving Forrest a 27-23 lead with just under three minutes to play in the quarter.
Anglin would be injured with an elbow to the head on the next series fighting for a rebound and was lost for the rest of the night.
Community scored to make the score 27-25 and managed to cut the lead to one point by quarter's end at 30-29.
A free throw by Haynes early in the fourth quarter tied the game and after a Forrest missed shot, the Vikings had a chance to go ahead, but Justin Stallings missed two free throw attempts to keep the score knotted at 30.
Perkins went to the line moments later and sank both attempts, giving Forrest a 32-30 lead.
Community turned the ball over on the next possession and Perkins scored in the paint, opening up a four-point FHS lead.
Haynes scored for the Vikings, cutting the lead back to two points and the visitors called timeout with 3:41 left in the game.
Forrest head coach Davy McClaran dialed up a play out of the timeout and Perkins surprised the Vikings, draining a three-pointer to stretch the Rocket lead to 37-32.
Community's David Natale went downtown for three, keeping the Vikings close at 37-35.
Colin Henson sank two big free throws for Forrest, making the score 39-35 with 2:30 left to play.
There was no scoring over the next 75 seconds until Natale hit one of two from the line to make the score 39-36.
Community called timeout gain, but turned the ball over and doubled their trouble with an intentional foul on Gentry, who sank one of two of the free-throws for a four-point FHS margin at 40-36.
The Rockets were whistled for a five-second call on the out of bounds play and Stallings was fouled, but hit just one of two from the line for a 40-37 Rocket lead with 48.4 seconds to play.
Perkins was fouled again and calmly drained both shots from the charity stripe for a 42-37 Rocket lead.
Stallings scored a quick bucket, making it 42-39 and Community fouled Henson on the inbounds play, sending the senior to the line where he made one of two, making it a two possession game with 21.7 seconds left.
Forrest called time to set the defense and it worked as Community misfired on two field goal attempts with seconds left. A meaningless buzzer beater three by Natale made the final score 43-42.
Perkins led the way with his 14 points, Anglin had 7 before leaving with the head injury, Seth Brothers scored 6, Henson finished with 5, Gentry and Gugger had 3 points apiece, and Pratt finished with just the one three-pointer.