Eighth grader Alex Brewer stepped up with a dozen points for the Rockets, who had a balanced scoring attack that included 5 points by Gary Lukonen, three points from Jesse Pruitt, Hawkin King, Marshall McKee, and David Andrews, plus a deuce from Tyler Adcock.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the first quarter, Brewer hit the first of his two treys in the ballgame to make it 5-2 before a late Liberty basket cut the lead to one-point at the end of the first six minutes.
Forrest trailed early in the second quarter at 8-6 when Lukonen drilled a three-bomb to make it 9-8, but Liberty scored at the other end to go up by one-point at 10-9.
Both squads went ice-cold for almost the remainder of the first half Pruitt put in a rebound with 39.0 seconds remaining to give FMS an 11-10 lead at the intermission.
Adcock netted the first basket of the second half for FMS before Liberty went on the offensive and scored the next six points of the period to take a 16-10 lead.
Brewer stopped the run with a long bomb from the corner to tie the contest and then stole the rock from Liberty and scored and was fouled.
Brewer nailed the ensuing free throw to give the hometown boys an 18-16 lead, but the Patriots outscored FMS the rest of the stanza 4-1 and led 20-19 after three quarters.
The Patriots upped the margin to 23-19 at the outset of the final period, but an Andrews long distance trey, followed by a Lukonen rebound and put-back gave Forrest a 24-23 lead with three minutes to go in the game.
Moments later, the lead would seesaw back to Liberty at 26-25, but Andrews lifted his teammates up again when he nailed two free throws with 1:38 remaining to give the Rockets a 27-26 lead.
One free throw each by McKee and Lukonen stretched the FMS to 29-26 before the Pats scored with 13.8 seconds remaining to cut the lead to a single point.
Forrest head coach Randy Toombs called timeout to set up the all-important inbounds play and it was executed to perfection when Pruitt threw a spiral over the top to Brewer, who went in for the lay-up that broke Liberty's back for good.