Rockets fall to Franklin in Hobbs' debut
The Forrest Rockets, minus some key players due to the just ended football season, played well before falling 67-49 Monday night to the Franklin Rebels in the season opener and debut of head coach Wes Hobbs.
Hobbs is the son of TSSAA Hall of Fame member Wayne Hobbs, son to Cornersville Middle School girls' assistant coach Sally Hobbs, and sibling to Lady Rocket assistant Ashley Hobbs.
Hobbs was upbeat about his first game as Rockets' head coach and his team's performance, saying after the game, "We got to come up and play a good ball team, which is fun. I think we played hard, which is what I wanted to do coming in."
Forrest fell behind 5-0 and then 11-6 in the opening minutes before Mark Pope drained a three-bomb, and after a Franklin turnover, Pope tied the game at 11 with jumper on the wing.
Kyle Tackett and Forrest's Zach Horvath traded baskets to make it 13-13, but the Rebels would score the last three points of the period to lead 16-13.
Pope scored on a traditional three-point to open period number two, but the Rebs scored seven straight to go up 23-16.
Colby Anglin stopped the run with a three-pointer for the Rockets, and after a single free throw by Tackett, Pope went downtown again to slice the Franklin lead to two points at 24-22.
The Rebs went up by four moments later, but Forrest scored on another three-point play when Marshall Hunter drove to the hoop for a basket and made the free throw after being hacked.
Franklin kept pushing and went up 30-25, but Pope put in his own shot off the glass to cut the lead to 30-27.
Tackett went to work in the low post late, scoring the last four points of the first half to give his squad a 34-27 halftime lead.
Hunter scored the initial basket of the second half, but the Rebels went on a 7-3 run to go up 41-32 when Hobbs called timeout with 2:59 remaining in the quarter.
The Rockets came out of the stoppage and got two points closer on a pair of free throws by Ty Hoeft, followed by a Horvath basket and trailed by just five-points, 41-36, entering the final eight minutes of play.
Hunter scored to open up the final period, and after a Hunter Nelson three-bomb for Franklin, Horvath scored in the paint to make the score 44-40.
From there, a Rebel charge did in the Rockets as the home team outscored the visitors 27-9 the remainder of the contest to win going away.
Hobbs said, "For a first game, I was proud. We had a point guard get injured, we had a depth issue a little bit with football, but again, the guys and myself make no excuses. This is the time we can get better and playing teams like this will make us better down the road."
Tackett led all scorers with 25 points and Pope netted 22 to lead the Rockets.
Horvath ended up with 10 points for Forrest, Hunter had nine, Anglin 5, Hoeft 2, and Tyler Rumley hit one free throw.