Rockets knock off Vikings in overtime
The Forrest Rockets (13-6, 6-1) won their fifth game in a row Tuesday night and sixth in succession over Community, but it took overtime for the Rockets to prevail 76-70 over the ninth ranked Vikings (13-3, 6-1) in Unionville.
"It got crazy at the end there, but our defense hung tough and we pulled it off," said Forrest senior Colby Anglin after the game. "It was back and forth, back and forth the whole game. It is the best feeling I have had all season."
Both squads share the top spot in the District 9A standings with Forrest now holding the tiebreaker and the next time the two teams meet will be in Chapel Hill on February 3.
Community was playing without their leading scorer in senior Jake Leverette, who was sitting out the ballgame on precautionary measures after suffering a concussion last week.
Forrest led by a single point after the first eight minutes and by two at halftime before the Vikings opened up a huge 14-point lead at the outset of the third period.
Zach Horvath, who led all scorers in the ballgame with 21 points kept Forrest close with six points to begin the third period as Community held a 41-29 lead with five minutes to play in the quarter.
A Lucas Pruitt jumper, followed by a Viking missed shot, and a rebound and put-back by Tyler "Juice" Rumley sliced the Community lead to eight points at 41-33, forcing Community head coach Jace Bryant to call timeout with 4:04 left in the period.
After the stoppage, Taylor Paschal drilled a three-pointer to stop the Rocket charge and the Vikings stayed out in front, leading by eleven points at 50-39 with under two minutes remaining before quarter number four.
The Rockets got hot at the right time, beginning with a Zach ray bucket in the lane, followed by a steal and score by Marshall Hunter, and the period ended when Mark Pope drilled a rainbow three-bomb after a Viking miss.
The Rockets trailed by four points at 50-46, entering the final eight minutes of regulation and Horvath cut the margin to a deuce with a basket to begin the fourth quarter.
A Rumley steal and score tied the game and completed the Rocket comeback with the score knotted at the half-century mark.
Zack West scored to seesaw the lead back to Community, but Ray would convert on back-to-back trips down the floor and after a Pope bucket, the Rockets led 56-52.
Ray would foul out of the game moments later after committing consecutive fouls Zeke Grissom converted a one and one for Community after the second Ray foul to get the Vikings to within two points at 56-54.
Forrest would go ahead by five at 59-54 on a Horvath trey, but the Vikings came back to lead at 60-59 after going on a 6-0 run after the Horvath three-pointer.
The Rockets recaptured the lead and built it back to four 64-60 after a Horvath basket, a Pope free throw, and another Pope basket on a rebound and put-back.
With one minute to go in the contest, Blake Fanning scored in the paint for the Vikings, and with 30 ticks left in the game, Grissom scored on a runner in the lane and the game went to overtime tied at 64.
With 1:26 remaining in overtime, Forrest led by one point at 68-67 after a Lucas Pruitt lay-up off a pretty pass from Pope and Community called timeout after a turnover in front of the Forrest bench.
On the inbounds play after the timeout, Anglin was fouled and the game changed dramatically when the Vikings were whistled for a technical foul because of six players on the floor.
Anglin hit two of four from the line and the Rockets still had the ball in their possession because of the technical.
Hunter was fouled on the ensuing play and hit the front end of the one and one, but missed the second and the Rocket lead was at 71-67 with 1:02 left.
Pruitt swiped the ball at the other end and Horvath made one of two after he was fouled.
A Community missed shot led to Anglin being fouled and he made one of two to push the Forrest lead to 73-67 with 29.4 seconds remaining.
A Pope steal finished off the Vikings pushed the Rockets into the first place tie with the six-point victory.
Forrest will host Moore County (5-13, 2-5) Friday night, while Community travels to Hampshire (9-7) on Thursday before returning home on Friday night in a Bedford County battle with Cascade (5-7, 4-2).
"It was like it was just us and free throws at the end," said Anglin. "We would hit one, make one, hit one, miss one, but we made enough to win and we pulled it out."
The Rockets converted 22 out-of 33 free throws in the contest and Pope followed Horvath's 22 points with 14, Anglin netted 11, Hunter and Ray finished with 9 points apiece, Pruitt scored eight, and Rumley netted four.