Rockets' losing streak continues
After losing just one regular season District 9A game last season, the Forrest Rockets are now mired in a three-game league losing streak following a 65-57 loss to the Cascade Champions Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.
The Rockets, who did not lose a home district contest the entire 2011-2012 campaign, fell to 6-6 overall on the season and are 1-3 in district play.
Forrest fell behind from the outset, suffering on the short end of a 24-11 first quarter before mounting a second period comeback.
Ty Hoeft got things going in the second quarter with a steal and dish to Tyler "Juice" Rumley.
Jesse Barnes scored on a three-point play in the paint for the Champions and then Mark Pope threw down a three-pointer in front of the home bleachers and moments later, Pope scored on a pretty drive to dish and the Rockets were off and running.
Cascade turned the ball over after the Pope drive and Zach Horvath made them pay, knocking down a jumper to make it a 27-20 ballgame.
The Champs coughed up the rock again and Pope rained in another long bomb, cutting the Cascade lead to four points with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Cascade was ice-cold from the field, missing at the other end and they lost Pope too as he drove to the dish for another score, making it a two-point game at 27-25.
Rumley swiped the ball near midcourt and fed Jacob Daughrity on the run for the tying basket before Barnes scored with a few ticks remaining in the half to give his Cascade squad a 29-27 lead.
Cascade had the ball first in the second half, but could not convert and Pope re-knotted the contest on a rebound and put-back.
The turnover bug continued for the Champs and Lucas Pruitt put the Rockets in the lead with a strong move to the hoop for a score.
Pope gave the Rockets a four-point lead one touch later before Cascade re-took the lead on the back of Jake Pimental, who scored all seven of his points in the ballgame during a stretch that gave the Champions a 38-35 lead.
A Rumley three-bomb tied the contest back up and Pope scored on a driving lay-in to seesaw the lead back to the Rockets at 40-38.
Barnes scored before Rumley fired another long missile, giving FHS a three-point lead, but the Champions scored the final seven points in the period and led 47-43, entering the final eight minutes of play.
James Lattimore, who led the Champs in the scoring column with 16 points, kicked off the fourth quarter with a kiss off the glass.
Two possessions later, Blake Floyd converted and after a Forrest miscue, Will Holt rained down a three-bomb to stretch Cascade's lead to 11 points at 54-43.
Back-to-back baskets by Rumley and Daughrity were negated by another Holt trey to put the visitors up ten-points, 57-47.
Daughrity converted a three-point play after swiping the rock and Pope nailed the last of his four three-pointers in the game moments later as the Rockets cut the lead back to four points with three minutes to go in the game.
One free throw by Barnes stopped he Forrest spurt, but Horvath went to the dish for a score, making it a three-point contest at 58-55 with 2:18 remaining in the game.
That would be the closest the Rockets would get the rest of the contest as Cascade pulled away for the eight-point victory.
Pope led the Rockets with 22 points (4 treys), Rumley scored 10 (2 treys), Horvath netted nine, Daughrity seven, Pruitt ended up with four points, Dakota Zimmerman chipped in with 3 points and Kennedy Mathis added a deuce.
Barnes (15) and Holt (13) were in double figures for Cascade, while Alex Hatchett and Pimental both scored seven and Sam Gardner added three points for the Champions (5-3, 3-1).