Rockets top Bulldogs
The Forrest Rockets gave up an opening basket to Cornersville before taking the lead for good in a 53-42 Senior Night win over the Bulldogs in Chapel Hill on Monday.
"We played pretty good, the first half especially defensively and we came in with a mindset to defend well tonight and the first half we did that," said Forrest head coach Wes Hobbs. "But we got a little lazy on defense in the second half, got beat off the dribble some, but I have to give Cornersville some credit, their boys played hard and gave a lot of effort and we had to match that."
Forrest had a balanced scoring attack with three players recording double digits in the scoring column with Blake Leonard leading the way in with 14 points, while Ty Hoeft added a dozen and Will Edmondson tallied 11 points.
Brian Lowe scored on Cornersville's second touch before Leonard tied the game on a bucket in the paint.
Kennedy Mathis came up with a steal and score moments later and after a Bulldog miscue, Leonard banged home a three-point play in the post, making it a 7-2 contest.
Three free throws by Cornersville tightened up the game at 7-5, but Leonard went to work in the paint again, tallying another three-point play the old-fashioned way.
Hoeft added a drive to the hoop after a Cornersville miss before David Looney scored for the Bulldogs at the end of the period to pull his squad to within five points of Forrest at 12-7.
Rockets on the run
Mathis opened up the second period scoring on an over-the-top basket off a pass from Hoeft and then Hoeft stole the rock from Cornersville and scored, making it a 16-7 contest.
Hoeft would score again moments later before Tate Lowery broke the Forrest run with a basket for the Bulldogs.
The Rockets would pull away, putting up a 12-6 run with Will Edmondson providing the senior night fireworks via a pair of back-to-back, long-bomb, 3-pointers to end the first half that gave the Rockets a 30-18 lead.
Early in the third quarter a Jacob Daughrity basket gave Forrest their biggest lead of the night at 19 points and the Rockets held firm, leading the Bulldogs 40-22 after three periods of hardwood action.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs dug in and mounted a comeback, slicing the Forrest lead to a dozen points on a Lowery bucket with just over three minutes to play.
Cornersville had the ball with a chance to cut the Forrest lead to 10 points, but Edmondson stole the ball and scored, making it an 14-point game and from there the Rockets finished off the game and their regular season schedule with the 11-point triumph.
The fourth-seeded Rockets (10-17, 6-6) open up District 9-A Tournament play with a 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon tip-off versus No. 5 Eagleville (6-20, 3-9) at Community.
"We said after practice today that we are starting the season new tonight," said Hobbs. "We are tired of limping into the tournament and we are going to try to come out with intensity and see what happens. Every night is tough in this district, so we just have to come out and play hard and give ourselves a chance."
Daughrity scored three points for the Rockets, while Lucas Pruitt and Colton Cook netted two points apiece and Jacob Jones added one free throw.
Tate Lowery and Lowe scored 11 points each for Cornersville, while Jamie Crowell added seven points; Looney netted a half dozen, and JD Crabtree, Austin Ridings, and Zach Smith all dealt a deuce for the Bulldogs.