Tigers finish sweep of Forrest

Friday, January 31, 2014
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca The Rocket student section proudly displays pink as Forrest paid tribute to breast cancer survivors on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

The Fayetteville Tigers were on their game Tuesday night in Chapel Hill as they finished off the regular season sweep over Forrest via a 57-43 win.

"You can't match baskets with them and our defense just wasn't where we wanted it tonight," said Forrest head coach Wes Hobbs. "They drove the lanes well and we didn't contest the shots as well as we needed to. I want to see more guys ready to battle, we just have to have a fire from the start and if you don't match energy with a team like that, you will get blown out."

Fourth seed

With the loss, Forrest (9-16, 6-5) will hold the fourth seed in the upcoming District 9-A Tournament, while Fayetteville (14-9, 8-3) clinched third place.

"If it ended today it would be Moore County, but I think some things still have to play out," said Hobbs. "I told the guys we are not looking to limp into the tournament, we have two ballgames left to get some momentum going and we are going to try in practice to get that done."

The Rockets jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets by Jacob Daughrity and Blake Leonard before Fayetteville tied the game on buckets from Nicolas Hopkins and Adam Parks.

Forrest went on a 6-3 mini-run to take a 10-7 lead, but a Hopkins three-bomb from the top of the key re-knotted the contest at 10.

Tied up

Each team's post players, Lucas Pruitt and Craig McWilliams traded baskets at the end of the period, sending the game to the second eight minutes tied at 12-12.

Fayetteville's James Keith and Forrest's Leonard scored to begin the second quarter before the Tigers went on a 12-1 burst that featured long treys by Darrian King and Adam Parks that extended the Tigers' lead to 26-15 with 3:35 remaining in the first half.

A Daughrity 3-pointer cut the margin to eight points before two free throws by Hopkins made it a 28-18 ballgame.

Pruitt followed with a low post bucket for the Rockets, but the first half ended on a three-pointer by Fayetteville's Darren Patterson, giving the Tigers a 31-20 lead.

The Rockets tried to make inroads in the third period, but could not as Fayetteville held off any charge and led by 14 points after the quarter was over.

Ahead to stay

Blake Leonard (32) scores two of his team-high 19 points on a fourth quarter breakaway bucket.

Leonard, who led the Rockets in the scoring column with 19 points, scored to begin the fourth quarter before the Tigers put the early finishing touches on the contest via a 6-0 run, swelling their lead to an unsurmountable 18 points.

Hopkins led all scorers in the contest with 20 points for Fayetteville, while McWilliams added 12 points, Adam Parks scored nine, Michael Parks netted six, Keith ended up with four points, and Patterson and King had one trey apiece.

Lucas Pruitt notched 10 points for Forrest, Daughrity ended up with seven points, Will Edmondson had three, and Mathis and Jacob Jones chipped in with a deuce each.