Rockets beat Raiders, stay in 9-A hunt

Friday, January 24, 2014
Photos by Anthony S. Puca Jacob Daughrity (30), who scored a game-high 23 points in Forrest's win over Moore County, drives to the hoop for a basket after swiping the rock in the fourth quarter.

The Forrest Rockets came back from a slow start to win going away 51-39 over Moore County Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, remaining in the hunt for a top-two seed in the upcoming District 9-A Tournament.

Jacob Daughrity turned in his best offensive performance of the season, pouring in a game high 23 points, including several drives to the hoop that paid dividends in a 12-14 night from the free throw line for the senior guard.

Slow start

The Rockets started slow, trailing 8-5 after the first eight minutes and 10-5 after Dillon Davis scored for the Raiders on the first possession of the second period.

Daughrity drilled a three-pointer and then nailed two free throws moments later to tie the game before Kennedy Mathis edged the Rockets in front with a drive down the heart of the lane.

Moore County would come back to lead 14-12 on one charity shot by Will Slatton and a three-bomb by Ryan Northcutt.

Will Edmondson would match Northcutt's trey, but the Raiders would eke out in front again at 16-15 before the Rockets took control with a strong 8-2 run, including another Edmondson three-pointer at the close of the first half to give Forrest a 23-18 lead.

Rockets step out

The Raiders would stay close for the first four minutes of the third quarter, trailing 28-26 before the Rockets took control, mainly from the free throw line where Forrest made seven charity shots before a Lucas Pruitt field goal at the end of the stanza made it a 37-26 ballgame, entering the final eight minutes of play.

Colton Cook made it a 39-26 game with the opening field goal of the fourth quarter, but Moore County came up with one free throw, plus back-to-back three-pointers by Cole Boyce, slicing the Forrest lead to 39-33.

Daughrity came up big again, driving to the basket on consecutive trips down the floor to extend the Forrest lead back to double digits at 43-33.

One Davis free throw stopped the bleeding, but Daughrity scored again on a drive to the glass to make it a 45-34 contest.

Northcutt made it a nine-point game with a jumper before a Mathis basket, followed by Daughrity free throw lengthened the Forrest lead to a dozen points and the Raiders would not have enough time left for the comeback and fell by the same 12-point margin.

Ty Hoeft (14) drives the lane and is hacked by the Raiders.

Near leaders

Forrest (9-14, 6-3) stayed within striking distance of the top two spots in the district standings, two games behind first place MTCS (20-2, 8-1) and one game behind Community (14-7, 8-2).

The Rockets stayed tied with Fayetteville (12-8, 7-3) and have a chance to make some noise down the stretch with a game remaining at Community Friday night before they wind down the league slate with a home game versus Fayetteville on Tuesday and away at Huntland in their final district game next Friday.

Lucas Pruitt ended up with eight points versus Moore County, while Edmondson had seven, Mathis and Blake Leonard added five points apiece, Cook netted a deuce, and Ty Hoeft tallied a single free throw in the contest for the Rockets.

Boyce and Northcutt had 10 points apiece for the Raiders.