Rockets tame Tigers in first ever meeting
The Forrest Rockets met up with the Fayetteville High School Tigers for the first time Friday night in Chapel Hill and the fans got their money's worth as the two teams put on a run and gun show with the Rockets prevailing 74-60 thanks to a big 21-9 fourth quarter outburst.
The Rockets opened up a 7-0 lead on the jittery Tigers to begin the contest with Zach Horvath, Mark Pope, and Colby Anglin scoring in succession before Fayetteville's Nick Hopkins drilled a three-pointer for his squad's initial basket at Forrest.
Marshall Hunter matched Hopkins' trey for a 10-3 lead, but the Tigers found some footing to slice the Rockets' lead to 12-10 with just over two minutes remaining in the first period.
Forrest came back with a 10-2 run to end the quarter on buckets by Tyler Rumley, Jacob Daughrity, Dakota Zimmerman, and Horvath to lead 20-12 after the first eight minutes.
Rumley drilled a trey to kick off period number two, but the Tigers came up big with a scorching hot 9-0 run and trailed by two points 23-21 at the 5:53 mark of the second quarter.
A rebound and put-back by Rumley quelled the Tiger ambush and the Rockets burst out again and led by seven points after a Pope three-pointer capped a 7-2 run.
Aaron Parks drilled back-to-back three-bombs for Fayetteville, slicing the Forrest lead to a single digit at 32-31 and the half would end on a James Keith basket as the Tigers went to the intermission tied at 35.
The contest remained close for much of the third period as Forrest held the lead until the 3:22 mark when Hopkins drained a three-pointer from deep to give Fayetteville their first ever lead over the Rockets at 47-46.
A Rumley 2 and a Pope 3 gave the Rockets the lead back at 51-47, and after a Tiger miscue, Lucas Pruitt hit one of two from the line for Forrest to make it a 53-47 ballgame.
Once again, the Tigers would not go away as Keith scored the final four points in the third quarter to send the game to the final eight minutes with Forrest leading 53-51.
Ryan Yates tied the game for the Tigers on the first possession of the fourth period, and after a Forrest missed shot, Keith hit one of two from the free throw line to give Fayetteville a 54-53 lead.
The experienced Rockets held firm and scored eight straight points to open up a 61-54 lead before the Tigers scored again on a three-pointer by Parks with five minutes left in the contest.
The Rockets put the game away with a 13-4 run down the stretch to win going away 74-60.
Pope led the Rockets with 18 points, Horvath scored 12, Hunter and Rumley scored 10 points apiece, Colby Anglin finished with nine, Daughrity 5, Zimmerman and Zach Ray netted four points apiece, and Pruitt added to it with two.
Parks led the Tigers in scoring, matching Pope's 18, Keith scored 16, Hopkins had 11, Michael Parks scored seven, Kendrell Hall finished with four, and Trevonte Emmons and Yates each netted two points for Fayetteville.