Rockets bombard Bulldogs in intra-county battle

Friday, February 8, 2013
Forrest's Kennedy Mathis fires up a jumper over Cornersville's Alex Walker in the first quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Forrest Rockets (18-9) beat county rival Cornersville for the third time this season when they thumped the Bulldogs 70-43 on Monday night at CHS behind a barrage of three-pointers to extend their current winning streak to five games.

Having defeated Cornersville (5-19) decisively in the previous two meetings, the Rockets took care of business in a similar fashion on Monday, as they built a 35-22 lead in the first half before outscoring the Bulldogs 35-21 over the final two quarters to cruise to the 27-point victory.

Bolstered by a 10-of-16 shooting performance in the fourth quarter, Forrest shot 44 percent (27-of-61) from the field overall against CHS' 2-3 zone, which included a 10-of-16 effort from beyond the arc.

"We have the capability to be a good shooting team. We're not always consistent, but I think the guys get excited when they face a zone defense and are confident that they can knock down shots. The biggest thing against the zone is that we have to be patient," said Forrest coach Wes Hobbs.

The Rockets also outrebounded Cornersville 31-21, held a 17-8 edge on the offensive boards, and committed three fewer turnovers (14-11) than the Bulldogs.

Despite hitting 7-of-11 shots in the second quarter, Cornersville finished with a modest 16 field goals on 38 percent shooting and made only 2-of-8 three point attempts.

Mark Pope hit four treys and led three Forrest players in double figures with 21 points, while Tyler Rumley followed with 13 points. Jacob Daughrity tallied 10 points as well, and Ty Hoeft added six points. Zach Horvath and Kennedy Mathis also notched five points apiece, while Jake Townsend chipped in four points. Lucas Pruitt, Dakota Zimmerman, and Will Edmonson rounded out the scoring for the Rockets with two points each.

Cornersville's Tate Lowery scores on a layup in the second quarter against Forrest.

Alex Walker paced the Bulldogs with 13 points, while Tate Lowery and Jacob Griffis tallied eight and six points respectively. Hayden McMahon and Tyler Lowery notched four points apiece as well, and Jamie Crowell and Zack Smith both had three points. J.D. Crabtree rounded out the scoring for Cornersville with two points.

Griffis scored on a layup and hit two free throws to stake the Bulldogs to an early 4-0 lead, but Forrest quickly caught fire from beyond the arc and put together a 16-5 run behind three treys from Pope and a pair of threes from Rumley and Mathis to grab a 16-9 advantage with 7:35 left in the second quarter.

"They knocked down some good shots and we didn't move well in our zone. When you give a team like Forrest open looks, they're going to knock down shots," said CHS coach Gerard Randolph.

Cornersville outscored FHS 8-4 over the next 2:30 with the help of four points from Walker and layups from Lowery and Griffis to cut the deficit to 20-17, before the Rockets responded with a 15-3 spurt, highlighted by a Pope trey and a couple of threes from Daughrity, to push their lead to 35-20 late in the first half.

After Cornersville closed the gap to 35-22 at the break on a layup by Walker, Forrest outscored the Bulldogs 8-2 through the first 2:52 of the third quarter with the help of a Rumley trey and a three-point play by Pope to open up a 43-24 advantage.

Cornersville ended the third period with an 8-4 run thanks to two Walker free throws and baskets from McMahon, Tyler Lowery, and Tate Lowery to narrow the gap to 47-32, but Forrest outscored the Bulldogs 12-6 over the next 3:45 on the strength of four points from Hoeft to forge a 59-38 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Following a three by Smith, which trimmed the deficit to 59-41, the Rockets reeled off 11 straight points with the aid of a Rumley trey and two baskets from Townsend to stretch their lead to 70-41, before claiming the 70-43 win.