The Forrest Rockets continue to play solid basketball as they swept an important weekend series, beginning with a 58-55 come from behind win at Huntland on Friday, before taking care of business on Saturday in Chapel Hill with a big 51-32 blowout win over Moore County.
Forrest senior Zach Ray said after the Moore County game, "We were a little worried that we may not have the stamina tonight after a tough, physical game at Huntland, but we just came out and went hard and that's all you can do."
The win Saturday over the Raiders upped Forrest's winning streak to eight games and kept them atop the District 9-A standings, tied with Community at 9-1, but holding the tiebreaker with a win over the Vikings.
A win Tuesday night at MTCS will guarantee the Rockets one of the top two seeds in the upcoming district tournament.
Forrest trailed Huntland by nine points after the first quarter, by six at halftime, and by three at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the Hornets 19-13 in the final eight minutes to come away with the win.
Marshall Hunter scored seven of his team-high 12 points in the pivotal fourth quarter, including a three-pointer, while Ray nailed two clutch free throws down the stretch and finished with 11 points in the contest.
Mark Pope was also in double figures with 10 points (2 treys), Colby Anglin finished with 9 points (2 treys), Tyler Rumley (2 treys) and Zach Horvath rounded out the Rockets' scoring attack with eight points apiece.
Huntland standout Jacob McClennon poured in 31 points to lead all scorers in the game.
On Saturday, Forrest enjoyed some home cooking, but gave the first taste to Moore County's Dalton Barrier, who drilled a three-pointer on the opening touch of the ballgame.
An Anglin steal and dish to Pope made it 3-2, and moments later Pope swiped the rock and fed Ray for a fast-break lay-in to make it 4-3.
A James Dougherty basket gave Moore County a 5-4 lead before the Rockets scored on a Ray put-back in the paint and an Angling fast-break bucket off a Hunter steal.
The Rockets never trailed again.
"We related to our first game against Moore County when we had a fourteen point lead and let them come back and we did not want that to happen again," said Ray. "I was always told to cut the head off the snake or it will come back and bite you, so we just cut that head off early."
Forrest led by three-points at 11-8 at the end of the first quarter and put up 20 points in the second period to just nine for Moore County to take a commanding 31-17 lead at the half.
Anglin led the way in the twenty-point period, scoring eight points, including a trey and one of two from the free throw line.
The closest Moore County would come the rest of the contest was at nine points 35-26 late in the third quarter, but the Rockets staved the Raiders off with a 7-0 run to end the period, including a long three-bomb by Rumley just before the buzzer.
Ray put the game on ice on the first possession of the fourth quarter with a step-back three-pointer from the top of the key, and from there it was all downhill for the Rockets, who improved their overall record to 16-6 on the season.
Anglin led all scorers in the game with 14 points, Rumley netted 10, Pope eight, Ray seven, Hunter and Jacob Daughrity had three points apiece, Horvath and Lucas Pruitt scored 2 apiece, and Chase Hensley and Blake "Biscuit" Leonard both managed one marker.