Rockets stun Eagles in comeback win

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Photo by Anthony S. Puca Forrest's Marshall Hunter drains a fourth-quarter three-bomb over the outstretched arms of Summertown's Will Scott. Hunter and the Rockets came back from a double-digit deficit to win 61-57 in Chapel Hill Saturday night.

After a run and gun 74-60, District 9-A win over the newly opened Fayetteville High School on Friday night in Chapel Hill, the Forrest Rockets hosted the Summertown Eagles on Saturday in a big non-league matchup.

For much of the game, it looked like the host Rockets were running low on gas before exploding in the fourth quarter to pull off an exciting 61-57 come from behind win in front of a packed house.

"I give them all the credit, I could see in their eyes that they did not want to lose," said FHS head coach Wes Hobbs after the game. "There came a point where we had to make a run to make it happen and they just dug in and made it happen."

Rocket lefty sharpshooter Marshall Hunter scored all eight of his points in the game in the final eight minutes, including two huge three-bombs during Forrest's comeback.

Forrest fell behind early and trailed 13-6 late in the first quarter before a Zach Horvath basket and a Mark Pope trey kept the Rockets close at 31-11, entering the second quarter.

Zach Ray came out on fire to begin the period with a blocked shot, one foul shot make out of two, and a basket in the paint to give the Rockets their first lead of the night at 14-13.

The Rockets would push their lead to six at 20-14 before Tanner McGill and Jordan Chard hit back-to-back treys for the Eagles to tie the game with 2:16 remaining in the first half.

From there, Summertown went on a 5-2 mini-run to end the half with a 25-22 lead.

Summertown held the slim lead for most of the quarter until they built a ten-point 44-34 margin over the Rockets, entering the final eight minutes of play.

A Ray rebound and put-back, followed by a Tyler Rumley basket cut the Eagles' lead to a half dozen quickly, but a McGill trey halted the Forrest rally.

Summertown would go up by seven points at 54-47 on a Sam Curtis bucket in the paint with just under three minutes to play in the ballgame before the Rockets began their final comeback, beginning with Hunter's second trey of the quarter that cut the Summertown lead to 56-52.

Three foul shots by Rumley sliced the Eagles' lead to a single digit with 1:25 to play in the contest when Hobbs called timeout.

After the stoppage, Horvath swiped the rock and raced in for a lay-up, but was fouled on the drive as the ball spun out.

Horvath drilled both charity shots to put the Rockets in the lead at 57-56 and from there Forrest put the game away at the free-throw line as they canned four big foul shots down the stretch that turned out to be the game winning four-point margin.

"We talk all the time about how finishing the games is spreading them out, setting good screens, taking care of the basket, making those late foul shots and they stepped up and made them tonight," said Hobbs.

Horvath led all scorers in the contest with 19 points, Pope ended up with 14, Ray and Rumley were also in double figures with 10 points apiece, and Hunter ended up with his eight fourth-quarter points for the 12-6 Rockets.

Chard led the Eagles (8-6) with 14, Allen had 13, Seth Wright scored 10, McGill and Blake Gray scored nine, and Curtis netted 2 points.